Milan, Italy

The University of Milano-Bicocca is a university located in Milan, Italy.It was established in 1998. Wikipedia.

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Tadic M.,University of Belgrade | Cuspidi C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Clinical Cardiology | Year: 2013

Metabolic syndrome represents a cluster of atherogenic risk factors including hypertension, insulin resistance, obesity, and dyslipidemia. Considering that all of these risk factors could influence the development of atrial fibrillation, an association between atrial fibrillation and the metabolic syndrome has been suggested. Additionally, oxidative stress and inflammation have been involved in the pathogenesis of both metabolic syndrome and atrial fibrillation. The mechanisms that relate metabolic syndrome to the increased risk of atrial fibrillation occurrence are not completely understood. Metabolic syndrome and atrial fibrillation are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Because atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia, and along with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome constantly increasing, it would be very important to determine the relationship between these 2 entities, especially due to the fact that the risk factors of metabolic syndrome are mainly correctable. This review focused on the available evidence supporting the association between metabolic syndrome components and metabolic syndrome as a clinical entity with atrial fibrillation. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Lovaglio P.G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Monzani E.,Health Agency of Niguarda
International Journal of Mental Health Systems | Year: 2011

Background: The purpose of the current study was the psychometric evaluation of the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS), an instrument developed to meet the necessity of a clinically acceptable outcome scale for routine use in mental illness services.Methods: The study participants included 2,162 outpatients and residential inpatients (rated on the HoNOS on three occasions during the year 2000) with a range of mental illnesses in different diagnostic groups from ten Mental Health Departments, located in the area of Milan (Italy). Principal Component Analysis, Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Discriminant Analysis and Partial Credit Rasch Model were used to assess two sources of validity: the internal structure and the relationships with other variables.Results: The results of the 12-item HoNOS demonstrate a significant departure from uni-dimensionality, confirmed by the Rasch analysis (which identified three misfitting items). However, HoNOS scores demonstrate stability and precision of item difficulties over time. Discriminant analysis showed that HoNOS scores have an acceptable level of discriminatory power in predicting the severity of patients' conditions (as represented by setting).Conclusions: It was concluded that the Italian version of the HoNOS does not measure a single, underlying construct of mental health status. The internal structure validity analysis recommends a note of caution to use a summary index of the HoNOS scores, given the presence of multidimensionality and misfit. Nonetheless, the finding that the instrument is more multidimensional than unidimensional does not preclude the use of the HoNOS as a clinically valid tool for routine outcome assessment. In fact, item scores have demonstrated sufficient reliability (over diagnostic groups and care settings) and high precision in time, indicating that HoNOS items can be utilized as valid measurement instruments in longitudinal analyses. © 2011 Lovaglio and Monzani; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Bolognini N.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bolognini N.,IRCCS Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Olgiati E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Maravita A.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 2 more authors.
Pain | Year: 2013

Limb amputation may lead to chronic painful sensations referred to the absent limb, ie phantom limb pain (PLP), which is likely subtended by maladaptive plasticity. The present study investigated whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a noninvasive technique of brain stimulation that can modulate neuroplasticity, can reduce PLP. In 2 double-blind, sham-controlled experiments in subjects with unilateral lower or upper limb amputation, we measured the effects of a single session of tDCS (2 mA, 15 min) of the primary motor cortex (M1) and of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) on PLP, stump pain, nonpainful phantom limb sensations and telescoping. Anodal tDCS of M1 induced a selective short-lasting decrease of PLP, whereas cathodal tDCS of PPC induced a selective short-lasting decrease of nonpainful phantom sensations; stump pain and telescoping were not affected by parietal or by motor tDCS. These findings demonstrate that painful and nonpainful phantom limb sensations are dissociable phenomena. PLP is associated primarily with cortical excitability shifts in the sensorimotor network; increasing excitability in this system by anodal tDCS has an antalgic effect on PLP. Conversely, nonpainful phantom sensations are associated to a hyperexcitation of PPC that can be normalized by cathodal tDCS. This evidence highlights the relationship between the level of excitability of different cortical areas, which underpins maladaptive plasticity following limb amputation and the phenomenology of phantom limb, and it opens up new opportunities for the use of tDCS in the treatment of PLP. © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Malusa M.G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Villa I.M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Villa I.M.,Institute For Geologie | Vezzoli G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Garzanti E.,University of Milan Bicocca
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2011

Tectonic reconstructions and quantitative models of landscape evolution are increasingly based on detailed analysis of detrital systems. Since the definition of closure temperature in the 1960s, mineral ages of low-temperature geochronometers are traditionally interpreted as the result of cooling induced by erosion, whose rate is a simple, unique function of age patterns. Such an approach can lead to infer paradoxically high erosion rates that conflict with compelling geological evidence from sediment thickness in basins. This indicates that tectonic and landscape models that solely interpret mineral ages as due to cooling during exhumation may not be valid.Here we propose a new approach that takes into account the effects of both crystallization and exhumational cooling on geochronometers, from U-Pb on zircon to fission tracks on apatite. We first model the mechanical erosion of an unroofing magmatic complex and the resulting accumulation and burial of the eroded units in reverse order in the basin. Detrital mineral ages follow a regular pattern downsection. Some mineral ages, such as e.g. U-Pb ages of zircons, cluster around the "magmatic age", i.e. the crystallization of the magma. Its value is constant along the stratigraphic column in the sedimentary basin; we refer to this behavior as "stationary age peak". Some other mineral ages, such as e.g. apatite fission-track ages, are often younger than the magmatic age. When they vary smoothly with depth, they define a "moving age peak", which is the only possible effect of undisturbed cooling during overburden removal, and can therefore be used to calculate an erosion rate.The predictions of our model were tested in detail on the extremely well-studied Bregaglia (Bergell) orogenic pluton in the Alps, and on the sedimentary succession derived from its erosion, the Gonfolite Group. The consistency between predicted and observed age patterns validates the model. Our results resolve a long-standing paradox in quantitative modelling of erosion-sedimentation, namely the scarcity of sediment during apparently fast erosion. Starved basins are the observational baseline, and modelling must be tuned to include a correct analysis of detrital mineral geochronology in order to reconcile perceived discrepancies between stratigraphical and geochronological information. In addition, our data demonstrate that volcanoes were active on top of the growing Oligocene Alps.This study illustrates rigorous criteria for detrital mineral geochronology that are applicable to any geological setting, including magmatic arcs and collision orogens, and provides fundamental interpretive keys to solve complex puzzles and apparent paradoxes in geological reconstructions. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Garzanti E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ando S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Censi P.,University of Palermo | Vignola P.,CNR Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2011

Sediments carried in suspension represent a fundamental part of fluvial transport. Nonetheless, largely because of technical problems, they have been hitherto widely neglected in provenance studies. In order to determine with maximum possible precision the mineralogy of suspended load collected in vertical profiles from water surface to channel bottom of Rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra, we combined Raman spectroscopy with traditional heavy-mineral and X-ray diffraction analyses, carried out separately on low-density and dense fractions of all significant size classes in each sample (multiple-window approach). Suspended load resulted to be a ternary mixture of dominant silt enriched in phyllosilicates, subordinate clay largely derived from weathered floodplains, and sand mainly produced by physical erosion and mechanical grinding during transport in Himalayan streams. Sediment concentration and grain size increase steadily with water depth. Whereas absolute concentration of clay associated with Fe-oxyhydroxides and organic matter is almost depth-invariant, regular mineralogical and consequently chemical changes from shallow to deep load result from marked increase of faster-settling, coarser, denser, or more spherical grains toward the bed. Such steady intersample compositional variability can be modeled as a mixture of clay, silt and sand modes with distinct mineralogical and chemical composition. With classical formulas describing sediment transport by turbulent diffusion, absolute and relative concentrations can be predicted at any depth for each textural mode and each detrital component. Based on assumptions on average chemistry of detrital minerals and empirical formulas to calculate their settling velocities, the suspension-sorting model successfully reproduces mineralogy and chemistry of suspended load at different depths. Principal outputs include assessment of contributions by each detrital mineral to the chemical budget, and calibration of dense minerals too rare to be precisely estimated by optical or Raman analysis but crucial in both detrital-geochronology and settling-equivalence studies. Hydrodynamic conditions during monsoonal discharge could also be evaluated. Understanding compositional variability of suspended load is a fundamental pre-requisite to correctly interpret mineralogical and geochemical data in provenance analysis of modern and ancient sedimentary deposits, to accurately assess weathering processes, sediment fluxes and erosion patterns, and to unambiguously evaluate the effects of anthropogenic modifications on the natural environment. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Filosa G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Filosa G.,FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology | Barabino S.M.L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bachi A.,FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology
NeuroMolecular Medicine | Year: 2013

SUMOylation is a protein posttranslational modification that participates in the regulation of numerous biological processes within the cells. Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins are members of the ubiquitin-like protein family and, similarly to ubiquitin, are covalently linked to a lysine residue on a target protein via a multi-enzymatic cascade. To assess the specific mechanism triggered by SUMOylation, the identification of SUMO protein substrates and of the precise acceptor site to which SUMO is bound is of critical relevance. Despite hundreds of mammalian proteins have been described as targets of SUMOylation, the identification of the precise acceptor sites still represents an important analytical challenge because of the relatively low stoichiometry in vivo and the highly dynamic nature of this modification. Moreover, mass spectrometry-based identification of SUMOylated sites is hampered by the large peptide remnant of SUMO proteins that are left on the modified lysine residue upon tryptic digestion. The present review provides a survey of the strategies that have been exploited in order to enrich, purify and identify SUMOylation substrates and acceptor sites in human cells on a large-scale format. The success of the presented strategies helped to unravel the numerous activities of this modification, as it was shown by the exemplary case of the RNA-binding protein family, whose SUMOylation is here reviewed. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Schmieder R.E.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Kjeldsen S.E.,University of Oslo | Kjeldsen S.E.,University of Michigan
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2013

Objective: Treatment-resistant hypertension (rHTN) is defined as blood pressure (BP) that remains above goal despite compliance with at least three antihypertensive medications including a diuretic all at maximum tolerated doses or BP controlled on at least four drugs. An increased risk for cardiovascular events is associated with rHTN compared with controlled hypertension (HTN). The purpose of this study was to assess the emotional impact of rHTN on patients compared with the impact of uncontrolled hypertension (uHTN). Methods: We conducted an online survey in an international cohort of 2649 patients with uHTN and 1925 patients with rHTN. Adults self-reported as having uHTN or rHTN in eight countries (Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States) responded to a series of questions about their perceptions regarding the impact of HTN on their lives. The raw data were weighted by demographic variables, the propensity for respondents to be online (except data from Brazil and Japan), and the relative population of each country surveyed. Results: Respondents from both groups reported a substantial emotional impact from HTN. People with rHTN reported consistently greater impact than patients with uHTN, including a poorer perception of their overall health, greater degree of concern over their elevated BP, and a greater impact on their everyday lives. Conclusion: In addition to the known risks to physical health, rHTN presents a substantial emotional burden to patients. An awareness of the emotional consequences of rHTN may help healthcare providers to communicate more effectively with their patients and, ultimately, to provide better care. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Merlini L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Piatti S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

During asymmetric cell division, spindle positioning is critical for ensuring the unequal inheritance of polarity factors. In budding yeast, the mother-bud neck determines the cleavage plane and a correct nuclear division between mother and daughter cell requires orientation of the mitotic spindle along the mother-bud axis. A surveillance device called the spindle position/orientation checkpoint (SPOC) oversees this process and delays mitotic exit and cytokinesis until the spindle is properly oriented along the division axis, thus ensuring genome stability. Cytoskeletal proteins called septins form a ring at the bud neck that is essential for cytokinesis. Furthermore, septins and septin-associated proteins are implicated in spindle positioning and SPOC. In this review, we discuss the emerging connections between septins and the SPOC and the role of the mother-bud neck as a signaling platform to couple proper chromosome segregation to cytokinesis. © 2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.

Silvestri L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Agranovich V.M.,University of Texas at Dallas | Agranovich V.M.,Russian Academy of Sciences
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

Following the experimental observation that in semiconductor nanocrystals a single high-energy photon can generate multiple electron-hole pairs, several mechanisms have been proposed to explain such process of carrier multiplication (CM). Among them, impact ionization is currently considered as the most prominent mechanism in bulk semiconductors as well as in quantum dots (QDs). However, impact ionization is a multistep process which produces a delayed appearance of multiple excitons, and it cannot explain the instantaneous CM observed in PbSe QDs. In this work we present numerical simulations of the instantaneous mechanism of direct biexciton photogeneration via virtual exciton and biexciton states in PbSe QDs, which takes place only during the pump pulse excitation. The theoretical model is based on a four-band envelope-function calculation of electron and hole states in spherical PbSe QDs and treats Coulomb interaction in the framework of perturbation theory up to the first order. CM efficiency has been numerically evaluated for three different QD samples of various sizes and band structures, considering photon energies up to four times the QD energy gap. The results suggest that the mechanism of direct photogeneration can be only partially responsible for the total experimentally observed CM, which is the sum of instantaneous and delayed contributions. We show that the efficiency of such process strongly depends on the incident photon frequency, being particularly large in spectral regions of weak excitonic absorption. Our simulations also indicate that the virtual exciton channel is much more effective than the virtual biexciton channel and that the presence of a mirror symmetry between valence and conduction bands has only minor impact on the CM efficiency. Even if the contributions of instantaneous and impact generation still have not been experimentally separated, our numerical results are compared with available experimental data, and a detailed discussion of their dependence on the model parameters is presented. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Ficetola G.F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bonardi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Sindaco R.,Museo Civico di Storia Naturale | Padoa-Schioppa E.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2013

Aim: The incompleteness of information on biodiversity distribution is a major issue for ecology and conservation. Researchers have made many attempts to quantify the amount of biodiversity that still remains unknown. We evaluated whether models that integrate ecogeographical variables with measures of the effectiveness of sampling can be used to estimate biodiversity patterns (species richness) of reptiles in remote areas that have received limited surveys. Location: The Western Palaearctic (Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia). Methods: We gathered data on the distribution of turtles, amphisbaenians and lizards. We used regression models integrating spatial autocorrelation (spatial eigenvector mapping and Bayesian autoregressive models) to analyse species richness, and identified relationships between species richness, ecogeographical features and large-scale measures of accessibility. Results: The two regression techniques were in agreement. Known species richness was dependent on ecogeographical factors, peaking in areas with high temperature and annual actual evapotraspiration, and intermediate cover of natural vegetation. However, richness declined sharply in the least accessible areas. Our models revealed regions where reptile richness is likely to be higher than currently known, particularly in the biodiversity hotspots in the south of the Arabian Peninsula, the Irano-Anatolian region, and the Central Asian mountains. An independent validation data set, with distribution data collected recently throughout the study region, confirmed that combining accessibility measures with ecogeographical variables allows a good estimate of reptile richness, even in remote areas that have received limited monitoring so far. Some remote regions that support very rich communities are covered very little by protected areas. Main conclusions: Integrating accessibility measures into species distribution models allows biologists to identify areas where current knowledge underestimates the actual richness of reptiles. Our study identifies regions requiring future biodiversity research, proposes a novel approach to biodiversity prediction in poorly studied areas, and identifies potential regions for conservation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Gaiotto D.,Institute for Advanced Study | Tomasiello A.,Jefferson Lab | Tomasiello A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2010

We deform the recently proposed holographic duality between the ABJM N = 6 Chern-Simons-matter theory and type IIA string theory in AdS 4 × ℂℙ 3. We add a nonzero Romans mass F 0, whose dual we identify as the sum of the Chern-Simons levels for the two gauge groups. One can naturally identify four different theories, with different amounts of supersymmetry and of flavor symmetry. © SISSA 2010.

Scrosati C.,CNR Construction Technologies Institute | Scamoni F.,CNR Construction Technologies Institute | Zambon G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Applied Acoustics | Year: 2015

The uncertainty of field measurements of a façade was evaluated by a Round Robin Test (RRT) conducted in a full-scale experimental building at the Construction Technologies Institute of the National Research Council of Italy (ITC-CNR). Each of the 9 teams involved in the RRT replicated the tests 5 times, for a total of 45 measurements, while reverberation time was repeated 110 times. Both for façade sound insulation and reverberation time the main variations in the one-third octave bands were found in the low frequencies range. The study was also focused on the evaluation of single number quantities (SNQs) and their uncertainties. Single number quantities were evaluated in both narrow (from 100 to 3150 Hz) and extended (from 50 to 5000 Hz) range. Concerning the SNQs and their uncertainties, no significant differences were observed whether the low frequencies were included or not, unlike the case of airborne sound insulation (investigated in the first part of this study). The uncertainty results were compared with the relevant standards and with literature results. Based on these comparisons, it was highlighted that the standard deviation of reproducibility of façade elements is not adequately reflected in the ISO 12999-1 and further research is needed to specify the in situ standard deviation of reproducibility for façade elements. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.All rights reserved.

Cattoretti G.,AO San Gerardo | Cattoretti G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Pathology | Year: 2013

The distribution of the product of the proto-oncogene MYC in lymphoid tissue has not been established in three decades, due to a combination of factors including low abundance, short half-life, and antibody sensitivity and specificity. We sought to validate antibodies in order to define the expression and distribution of MYC in mature normal lymphoid cells by multiparametric immunophenotyping. Having validated two antibodies for flow cytometry and for immunohistochemistry, we analysed normal tonsil tissue. MYC is expressed predominantly in B cells, some of which are interfollicular large, activated, and cycling CD30+, IRF4+, AID± blasts. Follicular mantle, isotype-switched memory B cells and FcRH4/IRTA1+ B cells express MYC in a wide range of levels and are small non-proliferating CDKN1B/p27-positive or -negative resting B lymphocytes. Germinal centre founder cells, CD30+ BCL6± AID± germinal centre blasts, and a population of GC cells in the apical light zone express MYC. MYC is expressed in all phases of the cell cycle in activated and mature B cells, but rarely in other lymphoid types and only partially fulfils the predictions derived from extractive and ex vivo experiments of the past 30 years. Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Hughes T.M.,Peking University | Cortese L.,European Southern Observatory | Boselli A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Gavazzi G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Davies J.I.,University of Cardiff
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

We investigate the relationship between stellar mass, metallicity and gas content for a magnitude- and volume-limited sample of 260 nearby late-type galaxies in different environments, from isolated galaxies to Virgo cluster members.We derive oxygen abundance estimates using new integrated, drift-scan optical spectroscopy and the base metallicity calibrations of Kewley & Ellison (2008, ApJ, 681, 1183). Combining these measurements with ultraviolet to near-infrared photometry and Hi 21 cm line observations, we examine the relations between stellar mass, metallicity, gas mass fraction and star formation rate. We find that, at fixed stellar mass, galaxies with lower gas fractions typically also possess higher oxygen abundances. We also observe a relationship between gas fraction and metal content, whereby gas-poor galaxies are typically more metal-rich, and demonstrate that the removal of gas from the outskirts of spirals may increase the observed average metallicity by ∼0.1 dex. Although some cluster galaxies are gas-deficient objects, statistically the stellar-mass metallicity relation is nearly invariant to the environment, in agreement with recent studies. These results indicate that internal evolutionary processes, rather than environmental effects, play a key role in shaping the stellar mass-metallicity relation. In addition, we present metallicity estimates based on observations of 478 nearby galaxies. © ESO 2013.

Jensen F.V.,University of Aalborg | Gatti E.,University of Milan Bicocca
International Journal of Approximate Reasoning | Year: 2012

The main source of complexity problems for large influence diagrams is that the last decisions have intractably large spaces of past information. Usually, it is not a problem when you reach the last decisions; but when calculating optimal policies for the first decisions, you have to consider all possible future information scenarios. This is the curse of knowing that you shall not forget. The usual approach for addressing this problem is to reduce the information through assuming that you do forget something (Nilsson and Lauritzen, 2000, LIMID [1]), or to abstract the information through introducing new nodes (Jensen, 2008) [2]. This paper takes the opposite approach, namely to assume that you know more in the future than you actually will. We call the approach information enhancement. It consists in reducing the space of future information scenarios by adding information links. We present a systematic way of determining fruitful information links to add. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Ornaghi V.,University of Milan Bicocca | Brockmeier J.,University of Manitoba
Journal of Cognition and Development | Year: 2011

In this study the authors investigated whether training preschool children in the use of mental state lexicon plays a significant role in bringing about advanced conceptual understanding of mental terms and improved performance on theory-of-mind tasks. A total of 70 participants belonging to two age groups (3 and 4 years old) were randomly assigned to experimental and control conditions. All participants were pretested and posttested with linguistic and cognitive measures. Analyses of pretest data did not show any significant differences between experimental and control groups. During a 2-month period of intervention, children were read stories enriched with mental lexicon. After listening to a story, the experimental group took part in language games and conversations aimed at stimulating children to use mental terms. In contrast, the control group did not participate in any special linguistic activities. The results show that training had a significant effect on emotion understanding and metacognitive vocabulary comprehension in the 3-year-old group and on false-belief understanding and metacognitive vocabulary comprehension in the 4-year-old group. © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Gaipa G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Basso G.,University of Padua | Biondi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Campana D.,National University of Singapore
Cytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry | Year: 2013

Minimal residual disease (MRD) is a powerful predictor of the overall response to treatment in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The most reliable and validated methods to assess MRD in ALL are flow cytometric (FCM) analysis of leukemia-associated immunophenotypes and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of antigen-receptor gene rearrangements. Results of studies correlating MRD with clinical outcome and technical improvements in FCM technology support the implementation of MRD studies by this method in the clinic. Gene expression profiling of leukemic and normal cells has identified new MRD markers, which can be incorporated to improve the applicability and sensitivity of FCM-based MRD monitoring. The combined use of MRD and emerging information on genetic lesions of ALL offers the possibility of further refining risk-assignment approaches. © 2013 International Clinical Cytometry Society Copyright © 2013 International Clinical Cytometry Society.

Tadic M.,University of Belgrade | Cuspidi C.,University of Milan Bicocca
European Journal of Internal Medicine | Year: 2013

The cluster of metabolic and hemodynamic abnormalities which characterize the metabolic syndrome (MS) is responsible for subclinical cardiac and extra-cardiac damage such as left ventricular hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction, carotid atherosclerosis and microalbuminuria. The development of different non-invasive imaging methods enabled a detail investigation of right ventricular structure and function, and revealed that right ventricular remodeling followed changes in the left ventricular structure and function in patients with arterial hypertension, diabetes or obesity. Previous investigations also reported that the coexistence of two components of the MS induced more significant cardiac remodeling than the presence of only one MS risk-factor. The relationship between different components of the MS (increased blood pressure, abdominal obesity, increased fasting glucose level and dyslipidemia) and right ventricular remodeling could be explained by several hemodynamic and non-hemodynamic mechanisms. However, the association between right ventricular remodeling and the MS has not been sufficiently investigated so far. The aim of this article was to review recent articles focusing on the association between metabolic syndrome components and the metabolic syndrome itself with impairments in right ventricular structure and function assessed by different imaging techniques. © 2013 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Caironi P.,University of Milan | Tognoni G.,Consorzio Mario Negri Sud | Masson S.,Irccs Instituto Of Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri | Fumagalli R.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 11 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Although previous studies have suggested the potential advantages of albumin administration in patients with severe sepsis, its efficacy has not been fully established. METHODS: In this multicenter, open-label trial, we randomly assigned 1818 patients with severe sepsis, in 100 intensive care units (ICUs), to receive either 20% albumin and crystalloid solution or crystalloid solution alone. In the albumin group, the target serum albumin concentration was 30 g per liter or more until discharge from the ICU or 28 days after randomization. The primary outcome was death from any cause at 28 days. Secondary outcomes were death from any cause at 90 days, the number of patients with organ dysfunction and the degree of dysfunction, and length of stay in the ICU and the hospital. RESULTS: During the first 7 days, patients in the albumin group, as compared with those in the crystalloid group, had a higher mean arterial pressure (P = 0.03) and lower net fluid balance (P<0.001). The total daily amount of administered fluid did not differ significantly between the two groups (P = 0.10). At 28 days, 285 of 895 patients (31.8%) in the albumin group and 288 of 900 (32.0%) in the crystalloid group had died (relative risk in the albumin group, 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.87 to 1.14; P = 0.94). At 90 days, 365 of 888 patients (41.1%) in the albumin group and 389 of 893 (43.6%) in the crystalloid group had died (relative risk, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.05; P = 0.29). No significant differences in other secondary outcomes were observed between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with severe sepsis, albumin replacement in addition to crystalloids, as compared with crystalloids alone, did not improve the rate of survival at 28 and 90 days. (Funded by the Italian Medicines Agency; ALBIOS number, NCT00707122.) Copyright © 2014 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

DArienzo M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Armelao L.,CNR Institute of Molecular Science and Technologies | Mari C.M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Polizzi S.,University of Venice | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2011

Macroporous WO3 films with inverted opal structure were synthesized by one-step procedure, which involves the self-assembly of the spherical templating agents and the simultaneous sol-gel condensation of the semiconductor alkoxide precursor. Transition metal doping, aimed to enhance the WO3 electrical response, was carried out by including Cr(III) and Pt(IV) centers in the oxide matrix. It turned out that Cr remains as homogeneously dispersed Cr(III) centers inside the WO3 host, while Pt undergoes reduction and aggregation to form nanoclusters located at the oxide surface. Upon interaction with NH3, the electrical conductivity of transition metal doped-WO3 increases, especially in the presence of Pt dopant, resulting in outstanding sensing properties (S = 110 ± 15 at T = 225 °C and [NH3] = 74 ppm). A mechanism was suggested to explain the excellent electrical response of Pt-doped films with respect to the Cr-doped ones. This associates the easy chemisorption of ammonia on the WO 3 nanocrystals, promoted by the inverted opal structure, with the catalytic action exerted by the surface Pt nanoclusters on the N-H bond dissociation. The overall results indicate that in Pt-doped WO3 films the effects of the macroporosity positively combine with the electrical sensitization promoted by the metal nanoclusters, thus providing very lightweight materials which display high functionality even at relatively low temperatures. We expect that this synergistic effect can be exploited to realize other functional hierarchical metal oxide structures to be used as gas sensors or catalysts.(Figure Presented) © 2011 American Chemical Society.

La Vacca G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mota D.F.,University of Oslo
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Aims.We aim to constrain mass-varying neutrino models using large scale structure observations and produce forecast for the Euclid survey. Methods. We investigate two models with different scalar field potential and both positive and negative coupling parameters β.These parameters correspond to growing or decreasing neutrino mass, respectively. We explore couplings up to | β5. Results. In the case of the exponential potential, we find an upper limit on Ωνh2 < 0.004 at 2σ level. In the case of the inverse power law potential the null coupling can be excluded with more than 2σ significance; the limits on the coupling are β > 3 for the growing neutrino mass and β < - 1.5 for the decreasing mass case. This is a clear sign for a preference of higher couplings. When including a prior on the present neutrino mass the upper limit on the coupling becomes | β | < 3 at 2σ level for the exponential potential. Finally, we present a Fisher forecast using the tomographic weak lensing from an Euclid-like experiment and we also consider the combination with the cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature and polarisation spectra from a Planck-like mission. If considered alone, lensing data is more efficient in constraining Ων with respect to CMB data alone. There is, however, a strong degeneracy in the β-Ωνh2 plane. When the two data sets are combined, the latter degeneracy remains, but the errors are reduced by a factor ~2 for both parameters. © ESO, 2013.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EURO-2-2014 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2015

The Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission provides an important opportunity for advancement of our knowledge of growth and innovation in the European Union labour markets as well as the dynamism that creates inclusive but competitive social environments. The GEMM project relates in particular to the Migration, Prosperity and Growth Dimension of the Call on the European Growth Agenda. With over 30 researchers located in several EU member states and Norway, our consortium will approach the topic and deliver: - An analysis of the obstacles to the successful incorporation of migrants and in particular to the attraction and retention of highly-skilled migrants; - A thorough assessment of the migration-related drivers of growth and the optimal functioning of markets; - An assessment of ethnic inequality in the labour market as a barrier to competitiveness and innovation in EU member states. - A set of policy recommendations that contain concrete guidelines as to how migrants can contribute to the EU economy and society These deliverables are realised by putting forward a scientifically innovative research agenda that combines a variety of methods and crosscutting expertise. Our consortium contains economists, sociologists, political scientists, and anthropologists who have made outstanding contributions to the field of migration and inequality research. Furthermore, our empirical approach is multi-method; we make use of survey, experimental and qualitative research methods to advance knowledge.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.39M | Year: 2009

The implementation of the new EU legislation concerning the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals (REACH) requires demonstration of the safe manufacture of chemicals and their safe use throughout the supply chain. REACH encourages development of new in vitro test methods and replacement of animal tests wherever possible by alternative methods. These goals are not achievable without well-trained personnel with a broad expertise and knowledge in both experimental and computational areas of environmental sciences. The requirements for such scientists, however, are not limited to the REACH implementation itself. Large companies and SMEs could be interested to employ such specialists to perform risk assessment and prioritization of molecules in the development stage. Therefore, the primary objective of this ITN ( is to contribute to the education of a new generation of scientists, environmental chemoinformaticans, who will receive advanced training in both environmental and computational methods. To achieve this goal the ITN will train the fellows using expertise and knowledge of its partners in various complementary computational and experimental areas of environmental sciences. The additional training will also be offered by means of Winter and Summer Schools and will include both theoretical and practical courses. The internships to the laboratories of associated partners will allow fellows to learn new methods and to broaden their knowledge in the field. A flexible system of Short Term Fellowships will offer additional targeted training to researchers originally not associated with the network. Given the potentially great business impact of evaluating more than 120,000 industrial chemicals in the European market within the next decade, the fellows of this network may have a significant economic dimension with regard to the hazard evaluation of chemicals in Europe.

Europe has invoked the SET-Plan to design and implement an energy technology policy for Europe to accelerate the development and deployment of cost-effective renewable energy systems, including photovoltaics. With lower cost of solar electricity, PV could significantly contribute to the achievements of the 20-20-20 objectives. The Joint Program on PV of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA-PV) aims to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of PV R&D through alignment and joint programming of R&D of its member institutes, and to contribute to the R&D-needs of the Solar Europe Industry Initiative. In CHEETAH, all EERA-PV members will, through collaborative R&D activities, (1) focus on solving specific bottlenecks in the R&D Joint Program of EERA-PV, (2) strengthen the collaboration between PV R&D performers in Europe through sharing of knowledge, personnel and facilities, and (3) accelerate the implementation of developed technologies in the European PV industry. Specifically, CHEETAH R&D will support Pillar A (performance enhancement & energy cost reduction) of the SEII Implementation Plan, through materials optimization and performance enhancement. CHEETAHs objectives are threefold: 1) Developing new concepts and technologies for wafer-based crystalline silicon PV (modules with ultra-thin cells), thin-film PV (advanced light management) and organic PV (very low-cost barriers), resulting in (strongly) reduced cost of materials and increased module performance; 2) Fostering long-term European cooperation in the PV R&D sector, by organizing workshops, training of researchers, efficient use of infrastructures; 3) Accelerating the implementation of innovative technologies in the PV industry, by a strong involvement of EPIA and EIT-KIC InnoEnergy in the program It is the ambition of CHEETAH to develop technology and foster manufacturing capabilities so that Europe can regain and build up own manufacturing capacity in all parts of the value chain in due time.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2012.1.3-1 | Award Amount: 3.07M | Year: 2013

RASTANEWS intends to enhance knowledge base, at both theoretical and an applied level, on many aspects of the future of macro-economic and monetary integration in Europe thus paving the way to a revised governance of the EMU, and the EU as a whole, in the wake of the debt crisis. We see three key issues about the working of the EU macro-economy that deserve deeper investigation. The first is the issue of incomplete and informationally inefficient financial markets, the Achilles heel of the consensus DSGE models. The second, related issue, is the heterogeneity in expectations, which should play a fundamental role in explaining the behaviour of asset prices. The third issue is the need to overcome the traditional dichotomy between Keynesian (short run) and neoclassical (long run) policy prescriptions. Taking these issues seriously has important implications for the conduct of EU monetary and fiscal policies and for EU governance system. In addition, to facilitate the timely identification of macro risks, we propose a new system of early warning indicators, to be implemented within the EMU surveillance mechanism. This proposal is consistent with our theoretical framework and is based on an empirical macro-finance approach.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES | Award Amount: 438.90K | Year: 2012

This proposal aims to bring together the complementary expertise of world leading groups carrying out research on the engineering assessment, prevention and mitigation of geohazards, the main ones being floods, landslides, and earthquakes considering also the effect of climate change and human activity on soil degradation. To mitigate these disasters it is necessary to improve our understanding of the failures taking place in flood defence embankments, to have better models for a more rational risk assessment of areas prone to flooding, to investigate the geomechanical conditions leading to the onset of landslides more in depth, to model debris flows and mudflows to estimate run-out distances and destructive power of the landslide materials, etc. In other words, prevention, preparedness and mitigation of geohazards rely on sound geo-engineering which requires competences in geomechanics, numerical modelling, constitutive models for soils, hazard zonation and risk assessment. The goals of this proposal are: i) to investigate the key aspects of major geohazards (floodings, landslides, earthquakes) to bridge the current gaps in knowledge to improve significantly the current capabilities of prevention, preparedness and mitigation by bringing together specialists engaged in cutting edge research; ii) to enable knowledge exchange among experts in complementary research fields; iii) to train several Early Stage Researches (ESRs) to expand their knowledge during their stay at the host institution; iv) to improve the current normative standards and codes ruling geohazard prevention; v) to generate new approaches to the problems dealt with through exposure to different methodologies.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: PILOTS-02-2016 | Award Amount: 9.44M | Year: 2017

PROTECT aims to introduce to the market One step antimicrobial finish processes for polymeric materials used in i) specialty textiles for public areas and hospitals, ii) water treatment membranes, and iii) implantable medical devices. Compared to main existing manufacturing routes, the proposed one-step coating technologies are simple, fast, and reproducible. For this, PROTECT uses as a starting point four existing pilot lines emanated from high successful FP7 projects SONO, NOVO and BioElectricSurface. PROTECT will upgrade the nanocoating One step process platform comprising: two roll to roll (R2R) pilots (sonochemical and spray coating) for functional textiles production, a R2R thermo-embedding pilot for antibacterial/biofilm preventing water treatment membranes, and a batch sonochemical pilot for antibacterial/antibiofilm/biocompatible medical devices. This platform will cover a wide range of applications due to their specific characteristics by the following objectives: a) Incorporating antibacterial antibiofilm biocompatible novel nanoparticles(NPs) of the following categories: inorganic (CuxZn1-xO ,5 Ga@C-dots, Si/TiO2 composite) polymer (polypyrrole, PPy)) and biologicals (antibacterial enzymes, functionalized lipids (FSLs), hybrid antibacterials) to obtain biocompatible nanostructured surfaces with antimicrobial and anti-adhesive properties. b) Implementing real time characterization methods for monitoring at the nanoscale to characterise relevant materials, process properties and product features for real-time nanoscale characterization to ensure reproducibility and quality of the nano-coated products c) Improving coating efficiency, production capacity, reproducibility, robustness, cost-effectiveness, safety and sustainability of the processes in relation to the targeted applications. d) Introducing a Labs Network (PLN) that will include also lab scale processes of the proposed technologies for training and knowledge dissemination.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REFLECTIVE-2-2015 | Award Amount: 2.52M | Year: 2016

SIGN-HUB aims to provide the first comprehensive response to the societal and scientific challenge resulting from generalized neglect of the cultural and linguistic identity of signing Deaf communities in Europe. It will provide an innovative and inclusive resource hub for the linguistic, historical and cultural documentation of the Deaf communities heritage and for sign language assessment in clinical intervention and school settings. To this end, it will create an open state-of-the-art digital platform with customized accessible interfaces. The project will initially feed that platform with core content in the following domains, expandable in the future to other sign languages: (i) digital grammars of 6 sign languages, produced with a new online grammar writing tool; (ii) an interactive digital atlas of linguistic structures of the worlds sign languages; (iii) online sign language assessment instruments for education and clinical intervention, and (iv) the first digital archive of life narratives by elderly signers, subtitled and partially annotated for linguistic properties. These components, made available for the first time through a centralized platform to specialists and to the general public, will (a) help explore and value the identity and the cultural, historical and linguistic assets of Deaf signing communities, (b) advance linguistic knowledge on the natural languages of the Deaf and (c) impact on the diagnosis of language deficits within these minorities. SIGN-HUB will thus contribute to the dissemination and reuse of those assets in broader contexts, as part of European identity. The project is a critical attempt to rescue, showcase and boost that largely unknown part of our common heritage, as well as to ultimately enhance the full participation of Deaf citizens in all spheres of public life on an equal footing with hearing citizens.

Berta P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Seghieri C.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Vittadini G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Health Care Management Science | Year: 2013

In recent years, governments and other stakeholders have increasingly used administrative data for measuring healthcare outcomes and building rankings of health care providers. However, the accuracy of such data sources has often been questioned. Starting in 2002, the Lombardy (Italy) regional administration began monitoring hospital care effectiveness on administrative databases using seven outcome measures related to mortality and readmissions. The present study describes the use of benchmarking results of risk-standardized mortality from Lombardy regional hospitals. The data usage is part of a general program of continuous improvement directed to health care service and organizational learning, rather than at penalizing or rewarding hospitals. In particular, hierarchical regression analyses - taking into account mortality variation across hospitals - were conducted separately for each of the most relevant clinical disciplines. Overall mortality was used as the outcome variable and the mix of the hospitals' output was taken into account by means of Diagnosis Related Group data, while also adjusting for both patient and hospital characteristics. Yearly adjusted mortality rates for each hospital were translated into a reporting tool that indicates to healthcare managers at a glance, in a user-friendly and non-threatening format, underachieving and over-performing hospitals. Even considering that benchmarking on risk-adjusted outcomes tend to elicit contrasting public opinions and diverging policymaking, we show that repeated outcome measurements and the development and dissemination of organizational best practices have promoted in Lombardy region implementation of outcome measures in healthcare management and stimulated interest and involvement of healthcare stakeholders. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SiS-2007- | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2008

The project Practising Gender Equality in Science (PRAGES) consists of an action of coordination aimed at comparing the various strategies implemented for promoting the presence of women in decision-making bodies relating to scientific research in public institutions. It pursues the objective of collecting, classifying and evaluating good practices and positive actions (involving those where a positive contribution from men is recorded) that can be found in OECD countries, both at the national level and at the level of the individual institutions, and to make them available, in a usable form, to a number of selected targets, including both decision-makers and other relevant stakeholders. It will be characterized by four particular elements: the attempt to integrate the most important and relevant results deriving from the studies and good practices relating to the fight against vertical segregation in various professional, political and social areas; enhancing the understanding of the exclusion of women as being deeply linked to what may be called the lack of socialisation of gender in science, that is, the resistance of scientific community to recognise and manage social and gender dynamics that drive the production of scientific research and its assessment; the comparative approach, from a geographical point of view, with the inclusion of both European and non-European partners and countries (including, in particular, the United States, Canada and Australia); the orientation to benchmarking, above all in order to concretise the indications in terms of policy-making. These features are translated, at the operational level, into 7 work-packages: WP1- Operational networking; WP2- Monitoring of significant events; WP3- Good practice database; WP4- Benchmarking; WP5- Guidelines; WP6- Public communication and dissemination; WP7- Management. The project will last 18 months. Consortium includes researchers from 8 countries.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2013.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 4.38M | Year: 2014

The proposal responds to the Horizon 2020 challenge called Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials. In addition, it addresses the second specific challenge of the Mobilising and Mutual Learning Action Plans (MMLAP) topics, listed in the Science in Society call for proposals of the Capacities Work Programme 2013, namely Assessment of sustainable innovation. The projects main objective will be to develop a methodological framework for assessing sustainable innovation and managing multi-disciplinary solutions through public engagement in the RTDI system by ensuring the commitment of a broad spectrum of societal stakeholders into its implementation, including industry, policy-makers, research organisations and academia, civil society organisations and the general public. In achievement to the overall objective of the proposed action, the specific objectives include the development of: - a working definition of sustainable innovation, building on common definitions, academic literature as well as expert advice internal and external to the project consortium; - ways to include general public concerns in assessing the social impact of these innovations on society in consultation workshops. Issues such as participation in the development of innovation, inclusiveness, ethics, gender and open access will be considered in these sessions; - a common understanding of best practices in sustainable innovation management; - a framework for assessment and management of sustainable innovations; - specific policy recommendations on how to improve innovation management and how sustainability considerations can be incorporated into it based on the findings of the assessment framework and public consultations. CASI mobilises 19 partners from 12 EU Member States. Through a network of country correspondents CASI will cover the whole of Europe. The work is structured in 11 work packages, and the mandatory work packages as outlined in the call are included.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SSH-2009-3.2.2. | Award Amount: 1.56M | Year: 2009

The overall objective of the planned FAMILYPLATFORM is to elaborate a focussed research agenda that will address fundamental research issues and key policy questions for future research and family policies in Europe. Therefore, the platform will match three relevant perspectives: The perspective of the scientific community, the perspective of European families represented by important stakeholders such as family and children`s rights associations, and the perspective of policy makers and social partners. The FAMILYPLATFORM will focus on four areas: 1.Catching up with the current state of family research and elaboration of significant trends, differences between countries, gaps and methodological problems of existing research on families. Therefore a wide range of existential fields of family life and family policy will be taken into consideration. 2. A critical review of existing research from the perspective of a wide range of stakeholder representatives such as family associations, children`s right associations and policy makers and social partners, 3.Generating key policy questions for future European policy and research issues and tools focussed on well being of families as key concept in European policy, 4.Working out a research agenda with fundamental research issues, research areas and tasks of long-term studies, methodological tools based on step 1-3. The FAMILYPLATFORM offers a wide variety of forums: Conferences with debates to certain topics, workshops and future scenarios with defined tasks, focus groups for opinion formation, and discussion forums on the internet platform. In order to build a consensus, there will be special techniques of moderation. The FAMILYPLATFORM will involve a wide range of stakeholders from an early state of the project. The consortium covers well known European experts on applied research for families and family policies in Europe and one important confederation of family organisations in Europe.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.2-5 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2008

Neural stem cells (NSCs) have emerged as a major topic in neurobiology. The persistence of multipotent cells in the adult mammalian brain offers a realistic chance for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. It is thus crucial to understand NSCs from as many as possible angles (e. g. cellular and molecular biology), in order to better isolate and successfully manipulate them. CISSTEM presents a post-genomic systems biology approach, taking advantage of new computational and experimental tools to address the specification and maintenance of NSCs at the transcriptional/epigenetic level. CISSTEM is designed to unravel the basic principles of gene regulation in NSC, with a focus on cis-regulatory modules (CRMs). To do so we follow a multidisciplinary approach tightly interconnecting computational prediction and experimental validation in vitro and in vivo using different vertebrate models systems. Major intermediate objectives of this project are the prediction of relevant elements and the identification of the temporal, spatial and quantitative activities of predicted conserved regulatory motifs associated with NSC expressed genes. To achieve this goal, CISSTEM will i) Develop computational tools and resources for the in silico identification of CRMs and transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) ii) Identify genomic regions functionally active in the NSC through direct mapping of DNase I hypersensitivity sites. Putative functional annotation to these sites will be implemented and conduct direct CRM prediction of the identified regions iii) Identify motifs/signatures over-represented in distal elements found around NSC expressed genes iv) Identify the elements acting as transcriptional enhancers and define their pattern of activities in different neural cell lines and in vertebrate animal model systems v) Disseminate the results of the project to the research community, biotech/pharmaceutical companies and the general public

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 15.44M | Year: 2008

The overall objective of UNICELLSYS is a quantitative understanding of fundamental characteristics of eukaryotic unicellular organism biology: how cell growth and proliferation are controlled and coordinated by extracellular and intrinsic stimuli. Achieving an understanding of the principles with which bio-molecular systems function requires integrating quantitative experimentation with simulations of dynamic mathematical models. UNICELLSYS bring together a consortium of leading European experimental and computational systems biologists that will study cell growth and proliferation at the levels of cell population, single cell, cellular network, large-scale dynamic systems and functional module. Building computational reconstructions and dynamic models will involve different precise quantitative measurements as well as complementary approaches of mathematical modelling. A major challenge will be the generation of comprehensive dynamic models of the entire control system of cell growth and proliferation, which will require integration of smaller sub-models and reduction of complexity. Implementation of the models will allow observing responses to altered growth conditions zooming in seamlessly from populations consisting of cells of different replicative age and cell cycle stage via genome-wide molecular networks, large dynamic systems to detailed functional modules. Employing computational simulations combined with experimentation will allow discovering new and emerging principles of bio-molecular organisation and analysing the control mechanisms of cell growth and proliferation. The project will deliver new knowledge on fundamental eukaryotic biology as well as tools for quantitative experimentation and modelling. Detailed plans for dissemination and exploitation will ensure that UNICELLSYS will have major impact on the development of Systems Biology in Europe ensuring a competitive advantage of Europe in dynamic quantitative modelling of bio-molecular processes.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 14.22M | Year: 2011

ENCCA aims to establish a durable, European Virtual Institute clinical and translational research in childhood and adolescent cancers that will define and implement an integrated research strategy and will facilitate the necessary investigator-driven clinical trials to introduce the new generation of biologically targeted drugs into standard of care for children and adolescents with cancer. This will lead to more efficacious and less toxic therapies that will maximise the quality of life of the increasing number of survivors of cancer at a young age in Europe and allow them to assume their proper place in society. This biologically-driven research agenda will improve training of the clinical investigators and translational scientists of the future to spread excellence, increase capacity to participate in research and monitor outcomes across Europe. Patients and their families will be full partners and will be better informed about the need for and processes of clinical research. They will be in a better situation to care from their long term health risks for children. Drug development will be accelerated in partnership with industry through improved access to young patients with cancer, to academic expertise in care, clinical and biological research. All of this will be achieved with respect for the highest ethical and patient safety standards. ENCCA will bring all stakeholders to the table in a timely and efficacious manner. It will address the needs of all the current multinational clinical trial groups for the benefit of children with cancer. It will provide them with common tools and approaches to solve the bottlenecks in testing new therapeutic strategies for those rare diseases in a vulnerable age group and in running a competitive clinical research agenda. Ongoing efforts to coordinate EU and US clinical research will be reinforced. ENCCA will be led by the most active EU institutes in the field (31), recognised as being at the forefront of excellence.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.07M | Year: 2013

The main general goal of DECORE is to achieve the fundamental knowledge needed for the development of a fuel cell (FC) electrode, which can operate efficiently (both in terms of activity and selectivity) as the anode of a direct ethanol (EOH) FC (DEFC) in the temperature range between 150-200 C (intermediate-T). Such a technology is still lacking in the market. The choice for EOH as an alternative energy source is well founded on the abundance of bioethanol, and on the relatively simpler storage and use with respect to other energy carriers. The intermediate-T is required for an efficient and selective total conversion of EOH to CO2, so exploiting the maximum number of electrons in the DEFC. DECORE will explore the use of fully innovative supports (based on titanium oxycarbide, TiOxCy) and nano-catalysts (based on group 6 metal carbides, MCx, M=Mo,W), which have never been tested in literature as anodes for DEFCs. The new support is expected to be more durable than standard carbon supports at the targeted temperature. The innovative nano-catalysts would be noble-metal free, so reducing Europes reliance on imported precious metals. To tailor the needed materials, the active role of the support and nano-catalyst will be studied at atomic level. Demonstrating an activity of such nano-catalyst/support assembly at intermediate-T would open a novel route where DEFCs with strongly reduced production costs would have an impact on a fast industrialisation. The power range for the envisioned application is of the order of hundreds of Watts, i.e. the so called distributed generation, having an impact for devices such as weather stations, medical devices, signal units, auxiliary power units, gas sensors and security cameras. By the end of the project, a bench-top single DEFC operating at intermediate-T will be built and tested.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.2.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.23M | Year: 2012

The SYNAPSE project aims at the metalorganic chemical vapor phase deposition (MOCVD) and study of chalcogenide single material, (core) and double material (core-shell) nanowires (NWs), for innovative multi-level phase change memories (PCM). If Ge-Sb-Te is the most studied material for PCM applications, In-based materials, like In-Sb-Te or In-Ge-Te alloys, are also promising, since they are featured by low reset current and high crystallization temperature, paving the way for performing data storage devices even in the automotive field. At the same time, a great attention is currently devoted to the chance to downscale PCM cells by employing chalcogenide NWs. In SYNAPSE, Ge-based and In-based NWs will be first deposited by MOCVD on different substrates and using different bottom-up approaches, the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) and the selective area growth (SAG). Single material nanowire (SM-NWs) will be in-situ MOCVD-coated by other phase change chalcogenides, to obtain core-shell nanowires (CS-NWs), both free-standing and buried in template matrix. Different material combinations (Ge-Sb-Te/In-Sb-Te/In-GeTe) will be explored in the realization of the CS-NWs, in order to expand the memory level operational features of the obtainable PCM devices. The NW synthesis will be supported by the development and test of precursors for MOCVD. A detailed study of the NW phase switching behavior (reversible amorphous-crystalline transitions) will be carried out and correlated. Special attention will be devoted to the investigation of electrical and thermal properties of the NWs, their phase formation/crystallization dynamics, size-dependent effects and structural/chemical composition. Experimental work will be supported by theoretical modeling and simulation of both crystallization dynamics and electro-thermal behavior. The SYNAPSE consortium is formed by 7 participants (5 academic/research centers and 2 industries) from Italy (3), France (2), Germany (1) and Ireland (1).

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-3-2-06 | Award Amount: 8.10M | Year: 2009

The NEMO project provides novel efficient enzymes and microbes for 2nd generation bioethanol production. It generates through metabolic engineering and mutagenesis & screening approaches robust yeast strains that have a broad substrate range and can (co-)ferment C6 and C5 sugars to ethanol with high productivity (rate and yield), and that are significantly more stress tolerant, i.e. inhibitor, ethanol and thermotolerant than the current S.cerevisiae strains used in ethanol production. The NEMO project also identifies and improves enzymes for hydrolysis of biomasses relevant for Europe. Novel enzymes are identified and improved through various approaches, based on screening, broad comparative genomics analyses, and protein engineering. These efforts will generate more thermostable enzymes for high temperature hydrolysis, more efficient enzymes for hydrolysis of the resistant structures in lignocellulose such as crystalline cellulose and lignin-hemicellulose complexes, enzymes with reduced affinity on lignin, and efficient thermo and mesophilic enzyme mixtures that are optimised and tailor-made for the relevant biomasses for Europe and European industry. These novel biocatalysts are tested in an iterative manner in process relevant conditions, including also pilot-scale operations, which ensure that the novel enzymes and microbes will be superior in real process conditions. Furthermore, optimal enzyme, microbe and process regime combinations are identified, providing basis for the development of the most economic and ecoefficient overall processes. The impact of the NEMO project on 2nd generation bioethanol production is significant because it provides most realistic but widely applicable technologies that could be exploited broadly by European industry. Its impact goes also much beyond bioethanol because NEMO provides technology improvements that are directly applicable and crucial for efficient and economic production of also other biofuels and bulk chemicals.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.2-4 | Award Amount: 15.50M | Year: 2008

Cell therapy can be defined as the transplantation of living cells for the treatment of medical disorders. Three different principles underlie the increasing interest in cell therapy. 1. Transplanted cells used as an active drug 2. Transplanted cells used to replace damaged and degenerated tissue. 3. Cells used as a drug delivery vehicle. Promising results have been obtained in pre-clinical and clinical studies, however, success rates have been variable and clinical benefits have been limited. A major issue is the fact that the mechanisms by which cell therapy works in the different disease areas, are still poorly understood. The ability to non-invasively monitor the fate and modes of action of transplanted cells over time is mandatory. The development of relevant imaging tools will lead to a better understanding of how cell therapy works, the possibility of response monitoring in patients, and sufficient safety of the treatment.. ENCITE will provide tools to allow this by developing; New imaging methods to improve the spatio-temporal tracking of labelled cells Dual- and multimodality imaging procedures to cross-validate each individual approach New contrast agents and procedures that will improve the sensitivity and specificity of cellular labelling Combining of molecular biology for the generation of molecular and cellular imaging reporters with multimodal imaging techniques Novel cell and animal reporter systems detecting the location and function of individual cells and small cell subsets within the target organ Cellular labelling that does not interfere with cellular functions and therapeutic efficacy Methods for quantitative assessment to generate reliable biomarkers of the cell fate and therapeutic effects Cell homing for therapeutic delivery to target organs The tools and methodologies developed will be validated in 5 key disease areas; Neurological, Cardiovascular, Musculoskeletal, Diabetes and Cancer.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-14-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.60M | Year: 2017

Corporate information, including basic company firmographics (e.g., name(s), incorporation data, registered addresses, ownership and related entities), financials (e.g., balance sheets, ratings) as well as contextual data (e.g., cadastral data on corporate properties, geo data, data about directors and shareholders, public tenders data, press mentions) are the foundation that many data value chains are built on. Furthermore, this type of information contributes to the transparency and accountability of enterprises, is instrumental input to the process of marketing and sales, and plays a key role in many business interactions. Existing initiatives to increase the interoperability and access of corporate data are mostly fragmented (across borders), limited in scope and size, and silo-ed within specific business communities with limited accessibility from outside their originating sectors and countries. As a result, collecting and aggregating data about a business entity from several public sources (be it private/public, official or non-official ones), and especially across country borders and languages is a tedious, time consuming, error prone, and very expensive operation which renders many potential business models non-feasible. euBusinessGraph represents a key initiative to simplify and disrupt the cross-border and cross-lingual collection, reconciliation, aggregation, and provisioning and analytics of company-related data from authoritative and non-authoritative public or private sector sources, with the aim of enabling cross-sectorial innovation. By a combination of large companies, SMEs, public organizations, and technology transfer providers euBusinessGraph sets the foundations of a European cross-border and cross-lingual business graph, aggregating, linking, and provisioning (open and non-open) high-quality company-related data, demonstrating innovation across sectors where company-related data value chains are relevant.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2009-1.1.1. | Award Amount: 2.86M | Year: 2009

Making Capabilities Work (WorkAble) will scrutinise strategies to enhance the social sustainability and economic competitiveness of Europe by strengthening the capabilities of young people to actively shape their personal and work lives in knowledge societies and cope with today's economic, cultural, demographic and technological challenges. Bridging quantitative and qualitative methods, WorkAble will assess the potential of innovative European strategies for dealing with local labour-market demands and regional inequalities. Adopting a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, it will systematically analyse whether and how young people are enabled to participate in working life and society. Applying the Capabilities Approach as a common heuristic framework, 12 partners from different disciplines (educational science, sociology, economics, philosophy, political studies and social work) in 10 European countries will collaborate closely in a multidimensional research process. WorkAble will survey whether and how the match between young peoples supply of skills and competencies and changing labour-market needs is sustained and secured, while simultaneously broadening their options for living in and actively shaping European knowledge societies. It will explore how educational strategies are implemented and assess whether they enable young people to convert knowledge, skills and competencies into capabilities to function as fully participating active citizens. This calls for a three-phase research design: 1) a comparative institutional mapping and analysis of vocational and labour-market policies in all educational regimes; 2) case studies to reconstruct the conceptions, aspirations and practices of local actors implementing educational and training programmes; and 3) quantitative secondary analyses of national and European longitudinal data revealing how effectively these strategies enhance economic performance and close the capability gap for young people.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 8.77M | Year: 2009

SafeLand will develop generic quantitative risk assessment and management tools and strategies for landslides at local, regional, European and societal scales and establish the baseline for the risk associated with landslides in Europe, to improve our ability to forecast landslide hazard and detect hazard and risk zones. The scientific work packages in SafeLand are organised in five Areas: Area 1 focuses on improving the knowledge on triggering mechanisms, processes and thresholds, including climate-related and anthropogenic triggers, and on run-out models in landslide hazard assessment; Area 2 does an harmonisation of quantitative risk assessment methodologies for different spatial scales, looking into uncertainties, vulnerability, landslide susceptibility, landslide frequency, and identifying hotspots in Europe with higher landslide hazard and risk; Area 3 focuses on future climate change scenarios and changes in demography and infrastructure, resulting in the evolution of hazard and risk in Europe at selected hotspots; Area 4 addresses the technical and practical issues related to monitoring and early warning for landslides, and identifies the best technologies available both in the context of hazard assessment and in the context of design of early warning systems; Area 5 provides a toolbox of risk mitigation strategies and guidelines for choosing the most appropriate risk management strategy. Maintaining the database of case studies, dissemination of the project results, and project management and coordination are defined in work packages 6, 7 and 8.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-06-2016 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2017

ISOTIS addresses the nature, causes and impact of early emerging social and educational inequalities in the context of socioeconomic, cultural and institutional processes. The aim is to contribute to effective policy and practice development to combat inequalities. Quasi-panels and pooled longitudinal datasets will be used to examine the variation in early educational gaps and developmental trajectories across countries, systems and time. To disentangle the complex interactions between characteristics of systems and target groups, ISOTIS will study significant immigrant, indigenous ethnic-cultural and low-income native groups, associated with persistent educational disadvantages. ISOTIS will examine current resources, experiences, aspirations, needs and well-being of children and parents in these groups in the context of acculturation and integration, and in relation to local and national policies. ISOTIS aims to contribute to effective policy and practice development by generating recommendations and concrete tools for (1) supporting disadvantaged families and communities in using their own cultural and linguistic resources to create safe and stimulating home environments for their children; for (2) creating effective and inclusive pedagogies in early childhood education and care centres and primary schools; for (3) professionalization of staff, centres and schools to improve quality and inclusiveness; for (4) establishing inter-agency coordination of support services to children and families; and for (5) developing policies to combat educational inequalities. ISOTIS will develop inter-linked programmes for parents, classrooms and professionals using Virtual Learning Environments for working in linguistically diverse contexts. All this work together is expected to support the education practice and policy field in Europe in meeting the challenges of reducing social and educational inequalities.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-14-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.57M | Year: 2017

In this project we aim at supporting companies operating in the fragmented European ecosystem of the eCommerce, Retail and Marketing industries to increase their efficiency and competitiveness by leveraging deep customer insights that are too challenging for them to obtain today. Improved insights will result from the analysis of large amount of data, acquired from different sources and sectors, and in multiple languages. The integration of consumer and market data collected by different business partners will ensure to cover customer interactions and activities across different channels, providing insights on rich customer journeys. These integrated data will be further enriched with information about weather and events, two crucial factors impacting on consumer choices. By disruptively increasing the analytical power coming from the integration of cross-sectorial and cross-language data sources and new data sources companies will deploy real-time responsive services for digital marketing, reporting-style services for market research, and advanced data and resource management services for Retail & eCommerce and their technology providers. As of today, developing these services is too costly or nearly impossible for a large number of European companies. Even when these companies have developed excellent skills in analyzing data in their sector, they lack knowledge, technology and resources that are needed to integrate and analyze large and divers data in a timely manner. Enriching business data with weather data is difficult and costly. Using event data to obtain precise customer and market insights is even more challenging because of the difficulty of collecting and accessing data about events at a large scale. Language barriers, lack of agreed models and shared systems of identifiers to interlink data make these data integration tasks even only more challenging.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2008

This proposal for a major upgrade to the CESSDA Research Infrastructure is a response to the general principles and vision set out in the 2004 Blueprint for the European Research Obsrvatory for the Humanities and Social Science and will meet the goals set out in that report to strengthen interdisciplinary and cross-border collaboration and comparative research on a European dimension enhance the building of research infrastructure capacity in the less resourced European countries of today [and] it will increase the opportunity to improve knowledge on social processes and thus holds great potential in terms of advising European and national policy-makers on how to manage the challenges currently faced by the societies of Europe. Building on the existing operational structure of the Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) network of data archives and its associated partners, this proposal for a major RI upgrade will seek to address the major gaps and deficiencies identified by the EROHS report on Research Infrastructures through the facilitation of access to and sharing of existing European and national data; the development of improved standards and documentation, and by enabling the linking of cross-national data and the generation of new and genuinely European data for the comparative researcher. Data are the single most important component necessary for a science based understanding of society and to promote and facilitate access to data is to promote research. Although there have been significant advances in recent years in making data available for scientific use, these advances have not bee European-wide. There still remains a large difference in both the actual availability of data as well as in the value that is attached to accessing data across Europe. This proposal will directly address these differences as a precursor to the implementation of an enhanced CESSDA Infrastructure.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SSH-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 1.65M | Year: 2007

This proposal outlines the organisation and strategic activities of a social platform, Social Polis, for the development of a research agenda and scientific dialogue addressing the role of cities and social cohesion. Its central purpose is to engage significant stakeholders from the scientific, civil society and governance sectors in establishing key scientific and policy issues for the agenda, informing focussed and coherent FP7-SSH calls for proposals on this theme in March 2008 and June 2009. Social Polis will mobilise a wide range of relevant findings, recommendations and scientific/practitioner networks from previous research projects under Framework Programmes 4, 5 and 6. Building on these experiences, Social Polis will organise consultation with a wide network of researchers and other stakeholders, including two workshops and one large-scale conference. Coordination and support activities will include: surveying relevant literature, starting from the conclusions of FP4, 5 and 6 projects, for findings, recommendations, missing topics and methodological shortcomings, to define a future research agenda on Cities and Social Cohesion in Europe and the world; meetings and other forms of consultation with different groups of significant stakeholders; synthesising research agendas and set priorities; preparing two draft call texts on Cities and Social Cohesion (for FP7-SSH-2008 and -2009) organising a semi-permanent meeting room between significant stakeholders, which will ultimately lead to the establishment of a Social Platform; following developments in international research, stakeholder and policy debates relating to cities and social cohesion; dissemination and provision of educational resources.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2013.5.2-1 | Award Amount: 6.39M | Year: 2014

Using an innovative interdisciplinary approach, MIME will generate an organised body of policy-relevant propositions addressing the full range of questions raised in the call. Our aim is to identify the language policies and strategies that best combine mobility and inclusion. MIME emphasises complementarity between disciplines, and brings together researchers from sociolinguistics, political science, sociology, history, geography, economics, education, translation studies, psychology, and law, who all have longstanding experience in the application of their discipline to language issues. The diverse concepts and methods are combined in an analytical framework designed to ensure their practice-oriented integration. MIME identifies, assesses and recommends measures for the management of trade-offs between the potentially conflicting goals of mobility and inclusion in a multilingual Europe. Rather than taking existing trade-offs as a given, we think that they can be modified, both in symbolic and in material/financial terms, and we argue that this objective can best be achieved through carefully designed public policies and the intelligent use of dynamics in civil society. Several partners have been involved in successful FP6 research, and key advances achieved there will guide the MIME project: languages are viewed as fluid realities in a context of high mobility of people, goods, services, and knowledge, influencing the way in which skills and identities are used and constantly re-shaped. The project integrates these micro-level insights into a macro-level approach to multilingual Europe. MIME results will be made widely available through a creative approach to dissemination, including training modules and the MIME Stakeholder Forum, allowing for sustained dialogue between academics, professional associations and local/regional authorities. The project culminates in a consensus conference where recommendations based on the project findings are adopted.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.29M | Year: 2015

A central challenge in theoretical physics is to develop non-perturbative or exact methods to describe quantitatively the dynamics of strongly coupled quantum fields. This proposal aims to establish new exact methods for the study of supersymmetric quantum field theories thereby unveiling new integrable structures and fostering new correspondences and dualities. We will develop a new cut-and-sew formalism to compute partition functions and expectation values of observables of supersymmetric gauge theories on compact manifolds through the gluing of a fundamental set of building blocks, the holomorphic blocks. The decomposition of partition functions into holomorphic blocks corresponds to the geometric decomposition of compact manifolds into standard simpler pieces. Similarly the gluing rules for the holomorphic blocks correspond to the geometric gluing rules. The key insight required to exploit the holomorphic block formalism is the deep connection between supersymmetric gauge theories and low dimensional exactly solvable systems such as 2d CFTs, TQFTs and spin chains. Two and four dimensional holomorphic blocks can be reinterpreted as conformal blocks in Liouville theory through an established correspondence between supersymmetric gauge theories and Liouville theory. We will provide a similar realisation of three and five dimensional holomorphic blocks in a new theory, a q-deformed version of Liouville theory where the Virasoro algebra is replaced by the q-deformed Virasoro algebra. We will develop this theory classifying the symmetries of correlation functions. These symmetries will be realised as gauge theory dualities, while the language of the q-deformed Liouville theory will become a new powerful tool to investigate supersymmetric gauge theories.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: Fusion-2007-7.1 | Award Amount: 2.48M | Year: 2008

This aim of the FUSENET project is the establishment of a European Fusion Education Network (FUSENET) for education in fusion science and technology, as part of a comprehensive package of coordination actions, in order to increase, enhance, and broaden fusion training and education activities in Europe. The project consists of eleven focused work packages, with a total proposed budget of 2,000,000 . The project brings together a broad representation of the European fusion community with 36 participants from 18 countries, of which 22 Universities and 14 Euratom Associations. The project consists of four groups of coordination actions: the establishment and running of the FUSENET network; development of individual learning opportunities and common educational goals; development of educational materials and hands-on experiments; and funding of joint educational activities. The FUSENET project will cover all education levels, from secondary school through Bachelor and Master level, to PhD. The actions of FUSENET build upon the already strongly coordinated European Fusion Research programme, coor-dinated under the European Fusion Development Agreement EFDA. The network will be given a permanent identity by the establishment of the FUSENET Association, which will provide a platform for the coordination of existing actions, the initiation, development and implementation of new EU-wide actions, and for the exchange and dissemination of fusion education information. The envisioned concrete end result of the FUSENET project is an integrated fusion education system in Europe, with strong links between fusion institutes and higher education institutes. Through a central website, the pro-gramme will offer a transparent structure of coherent educational actions, accessible and inviting, in which stu-dents and teachers can easily find their way to a variety of attractive ways to participate in the fusion research programme.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.07M | Year: 2013

The YEASTCELL ITN will train 11 Early Stage Researchers for productive careers as research scientists and leaders in the public or private yeast biotechnology sectors. Yeast biotechnology spans fundamental and applied research and is an area with an immediate need for highly trained researchers to advance knowledge and to develop new applications. The training consortium comprises 9 Public Sector (6 Universities, 3 Research Institutes) and 4 Private Sector (2 large companies and 2 SME) partners. A research training programme embracing the philosophy of use-inspired fundamental research has been designed to provide all 11 ESRs with interdisciplinary research training in both the public and private sectors. The research themes include yeast physiology and metabolism, metabolic engineering, mathematical modeling, genomics and bioinformatics, fermentation, synthetic biology and systems biology. In addition to training via collaborative research projects, ESRs will participate in courses at local and network levels to enhance their technical and academic skills. All ESRs will register for PhD degrees and will also take a separate postgraduate certificate course in commercialisation and entrepreneurship. Industry-led workshops, research secondments and site visits will provide specific training that prepares ESRs for research in the private sector. A comprehensive programme of advanced training in complementary topics and skills of relevance to both the public and private sectors is provided at the network level. As well as directly training 11 ESRs, the network training activities will provide opportunities for ~40 additional researchers and will promote long-term interactions between research groups at the partner Institutions. The major impact of YEASTCELL will be a cohort of highly-trained ESRs with excellent career prospects in the yeast biotechnology sector and a lasting European training and research collaboration between public and private sector partners.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2012.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.54M | Year: 2014

IMPACT Europe will develop an evaluation toolkit to help professionals in the public and voluntary sectors design and implement an evaluation of their programmes tackling violent radicalisation, whether policies or interventions. The toolkit will also help professionals go beyond the evaluation of a single project by integrating best practice into the design and implementation of future programmes. This evaluation toolkit will be composed of four elements: 1) A standardised methodology, to provide professionals with a tool to conduct robust evaluations; 2) An evaluation results database, to allow professionals to analyse these results over time, identify best practice and develop a more informed understanding of violent radicalisation; 3) A training course (including a train-the-trainer component), to build professionals capacity to design, carry out and learn from appropriate evaluations; 4) A training manual, to provide easy reference for professionals applying the toolkit.

Bani M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Giussani B.,Avis Provinciale Bergamo
Blood Transfusion | Year: 2010

Background. An overview of European blood donors shows that the distribution of men and women donors is similar in many countries, with Italy being an exception in that women account for only 30% of donors. Gender medicine is a key issue in this context, even though gender studies are very limited in the transfusion field, whether considered broadly or with specific regards to the selection, management and retention of donors. It, therefore, seemed important to compare the presence of women among blood donors in different European countries and examine the roles that gender is reported to play in the donation of blood in order to identify possible implications for communication with and management of the donor. Methods. To determine the proportion of women among donors in European countries, data were collected from annual reports or documents available on the websites of national associations; furthermore, all papers related to giving blood published in the five main journals in the sector (Transfusion, Vox Sanguinis, Transfusion and Apheresis Science, Transfusion Medicine, Blood Transfusion) were considered; about 80 publications were selected and the gender variable was examined. Results. The published studies showed that gender plays key roles in the motivation to give blood (women being more altruistic, men being more individualistic) and in adverse reactions, which was a particularly critical problem leading to fewer women become regular donors. A few aspects specific to the management of donors in Italy also emerged. Discussion. Gender seems to play an important role in the aspects studied and does, therefore, merit further consideration in relation to strategies to recruit donors and the management of critical events during donation. © SIMTI Servizi Srl.

Castellani V.,University of Milan Bicocca | Sala S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Sala S.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2012

Within the recent debate about the needs for improving Ecological Footprint (EF) method, Kitzes and colleagues highlighted the necessity of standardised and detailed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies to support the calculation of specific impacts accounted in EF. As EF has been identified as a useful method for the evaluation of sustainability of tourism activities, this article presents a comparative study about sustainability evaluation of tourism activities, including LCA of a holiday and a hotel structure. The methodology for a joint use of the two methods was expected to provide more robust and detailed sustainability assessment as LCA is more comprehensive in terms of coverage of impact categories but disregard the carrying capacity of the system/limit of resource assessed by EF. The methodology was applied to two case studies in Northern Italy. The case studies showed that there is a correlation between the results of the two assessments, due to the relevance of energy and fossil fuel consumption as main drivers of impact. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Casiraghi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Labra M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ferri E.,Polyclinic San Matteo | Galimberti A.,University of Milan Bicocca | de Mattia F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Briefings in Bioinformatics | Year: 2010

DNA barcoding is a recent and widely used molecular-based identification system that aims to identify biological specimens, and to assign them to a given species. However, DNA barcoding is even more than this, and besides many practical uses, it can be considered the core of an integrated taxonomic system, where bioinformatics plays a key role. DNA barcoding data could be interpreted in different ways depending on the examined taxa but the technique relies on standardized approaches, methods and analyses. The existing reference towards a common way to treat DNA barcoding data, analyses and results is the Barcode of Life Data Systems. However, the scientific community has produced in the recent years a number of alternative methods to manage barcoding data. The present work starts from this point, because users should be aware of the consequences their choices produce on the results. Despite the fact that a strict standardization is the essence of DNA barcoding, we propose a tour of six questions to improve the users' awareness about the method, the correct use of concepts and alternative tools provided by scientific community. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press.

Zittermann A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Iodice S.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Pilz S.,Medical University of Graz | Grant W.B.,Nutrition and Health Research Center | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2012

Background: Low vitamin D status may increase mortality risk. Objective: We used nonparametric ("highest compared with lowest"categories) and parametric (>2 categories) statistical models to evaluate associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] serum concentrations and mortality in observational studies among general populations. Design: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and reference lists for relevant articles. We included studies that contained data on relative risks (RRs) for mortality for different 25(OH)D concentrations, which included a corresponding measure of uncertainty, and this yielded 14 prospective cohort studies that involved 5562 deaths out of 62,548 individuals. We applied logtransformed RRs and CIs, adjusted for the maximal number of confounding variables. In the parametric model, which is based on 11 studies and 59,231 individuals, we used the lowest quantile as the reference category. Results: For "highest compared with lowest" categories of 25(OH)D, the estimated summary RR of mortality was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.50, 0.91). In the parametric model, the estimated summary RRs (95% CI) of mortality were 0.86 (0.82, 0.91), 0.77 (0.70, 0.84), and 0.69 (0.60, 0.78) for individuals with an increase of 12.5, 25, and 50 nmol 25(OH)D serum values/L, respectively, from a median reference category of ∼27.5 nmol/L. There was, however, no significant decrease in mortality when an increase of ∼87.5 nmol/L above the reference category occurred. Conclusion: Data suggest a nonlinear decrease in mortality risk as circulating 25(OH)D increases, with optimal concentrations ∼75-87.5 nmol/L. © 2012 American Society for Nutrition.

Riani M.,University of Parma | Perrotta D.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Torti F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems | Year: 2012

We present the FSDA (Forward Search for Data Analysis) toolbox, a new software library that extends MATLAB and its Statistics Toolbox to support a robust and efficient analysis of complex datasets, affected by different sources of heterogeneity. As the name of the library indicates, the project was born around the Forward Search approach, but it has evolved to include the main traditional robust multivariate and regression techniques, including LMS, LTS, MCD, MVE, MM and S estimation. To address problems where data deviate from typical model assumptions, tools are available for robust data transformation and robust model selection. When different views of the data are available, e.g. a scatterplot of units and a plot of distances of such units from a fitted model, FSDA links such views and offers the possibility to interact with them. For example, selections of objects in a plot are highlighted in the other plots. This considerably simplifies the exploration of the data in view of extracting information and detecting patterns. We show the potential of the FSDA in chemometrics using data from chemical and pharmaceutical problems, where the presence of outliers, multiple groups, deviations from normality and other complex structures is not an exceptional circumstance. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Corrao G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ghirardi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ibrahim B.,University of Milan Bicocca | Merlino L.,Direzione Generale Salute | Maggioni A.P.,Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri Research Center
European Journal of Heart Failure | Year: 2014

Aims Heart failure has been described as one of the emerging pandemics of the 21st century. This report aims to measure the burden of new hospitalization for heart failure in the population of an Italian region of nearly 10 million inhabitants. Methods and results Data were retrieved from healthcare utilization databases covering the population of the Italian region of Lombardy. We identified patients who were hospitalized for the first time with a primary diagnosis of heart failure (hospitalized heart failure, HHF) during 2011. Incident HHF cases were used for measuring incidence rates and exploring mortality, re-hospitalizations, and healthcare costs on the 1-year time horizon after the index hospitalization. Out-of-hospital mortality, hospitalizations, and healthcare costs were also measured in a referent cohort free from heart failure hospitalization and matched 1:1 by gender and age with the HHF cohort. The overall HHF incidence rate was 32 and 20 events per 10 000 person-years in men and women, respectively. The incidence increased steeply with age in both genders. Among newly hospitalized patients, 7% died during hospitalization. Among survivors, cumulative out-of-hospital mortality and hospital readmission were 24% and 59%, respectively. The average per capita cost was €11 000, the main cost being hospitalizations. Mortality, readmissions, and costs experienced by HHF patients of 88, 75, and 79%, respectively, exceeded those of the referent cohort. Conclusions The main burden associated with HHF is related to hospitalizations. Effective treatment options that decrease hospitalization rates could reduce patients' suffering and offer considerable cost savings. © 2014 The Authors. European Journal of Heart Failure © 2014 European Society of Cardiology.

Fratesi G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Lanzilotto V.,CNR Institute of Materials | Floreano L.,CNR Institute of Materials | Brivio G.P.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2013

The dependence of the near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectrum of molecules on the photon electric field direction is investigated by means of first-principles simulations based on density functional theory with the transition-potential approach. In addition to the well-known dependence of the NEXAFS resonances on the orientation of the electric field with respect to the molecular plane, we demonstrate that for planar molecules with sufficient in-plane anisotropy such as pentacene a dichroic effect is found with a splitting of the σ* resonance as a function of the azimuthal orientation of the photon electric field in the molecular plane. The σ* splitting is investigated as a function of the length of acenes and closely related molecules. A proper assignment of such spectral features guided by theory together with variable polarization experiments may allow one to completely determine the orientation of molecules at interfaces. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Frezzotti M.-L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Huizenga J.-M.,North West University South Africa | Huizenga J.-M.,James Cook University | Compagnoni R.,University of Turin | Selverstone J.,University of New Mexico
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta | Year: 2014

Microdiamonds in garnet of graphite-free ultrahigh pressure metamorphic (UHPM) rocks from Lago di Cignana (western Alps, Italy) represent the first occurrence of diamond in a low-temperature subduction complex of oceanic origin (T=~600°C; P≥3.2GPa). The presence of diamonds in fluid inclusions provides evidence for carbon transport and precipitation in an oxidized H2O-rich C-O-H crustal fluid buffered by mineral equilibria at sub-arc mantle depths. The structural state of carbon in fluid-precipitated diamonds was analyzed with 514nm excitation source confocal Raman microspectroscopy. The first order peak of sp3-bonded carbon in crystalline diamonds lies at 1331 (±2)cm-1, similar to diamonds in other UHPM terranes. The analysis of the spectra shows additional Raman features due to sp2 carbon phases indicating the presence of both hydrogenated carbon (assigned to trans-polyacetylene segments) in grain boundaries, and graphite-like amorphous carbon in the bulk, i.e. showing a structural disorder much greater than that found in graphite of other UHPM rocks. In one rock sample, disordered microdiamonds are recognized inside fluid inclusions by the presence of a weaker and broader Raman band, downshifted from 1332 to 1328cm-1. The association of sp3- with sp2-bonded carbon indicates variable kinetics during diamond precipitation. We suggest that precipitation of disordered sp2 carbon acted as a precursor for diamond formation outside the thermodynamic stability field of crystalline graphite. Diamond formation started when the H2O-rich fluid reached the excess concentration of C required for the spontaneous nucleation of diamond. The interplay of rock buffered fO2 and the prograde P-T path at high pressures controlled carbon saturation. Thermodynamic modeling confirms that the C-O-H fluids from which diamond precipitated must have been water rich (0.992

Alioli S.,German Electron Synchrotron | Hamilton K.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Nason P.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Oleari C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Re E.,Durham University
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We present an implementation of the next-to-leading order dijet production process in hadronic collisions in the framework of POWHEG, which is a method to implement NLO calculations within a shower Monte Carlo context. In constructing the simulation, we have made use of the POWHEG BOX toolkit, which makes light of many of the most technical steps. The majority of this article is concerned with the study of the predictions of the Monte Carlo simulation. In so doing, we validate our program for use in experimental analyses, elaborating on some of the more subtle features which arise from the interplay of the NLO and resummed components of the calculation. We conclude our presentation by comparing predictions from the simulation against a number of Tevatron and LHC jet-production results.

Frattini P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Crosta G.B.,University of Milan Bicocca | Allievi J.,Tele Rilevamento Europa T.R.E.
Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

The slow movement of active deep-seated slope gravitational deformations (DSGSDs) and deep-seated rockslides can cause damage to structures and infrastructures. We use Permanent Scatterers Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (PSInSAR™) displacement rate data for the analysis of DSGSD/rockslide activity and kinematics and for the analysis of damage to buildings. We surveyed the degree of damage to buildings directly in the field, and we tried to correlate it with the superficial displacement rate obtained by the PSInSAR™ technique at seven sites. Overall, we observe that the degree of damage increases with increasing displacement rate, but this trend shows a large dispersion that can be due to different causes, including: the uncertainty in the attribution of the degree of damage for buildings presenting wall coatings; the complexity of the deformation for large phenomena with different materials and subjected to differential behavior within the displaced mass; the absence of differential superficial movements in buildings, due to the large size of the investigated phenomena; and the different types of buildings and their position along the slope or relative to landslide portions. © 2013 by the authors.

Garzanti E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ando S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Vezzoli G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Lustrino M.,CNR Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering | And 2 more authors.
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2012

Sourced as the Nile in distant basaltic rift highlands, the Orange River is the predominant ultimate source of sand for the Namib Desert dunes, as proved independently by bulk-petrography, heavy-mineral, pyroxene-chemistry, and U/Pb zircon-age datasets. Additional local entry points of sand do exist at the edges of the desert, and were quantified by comparison with detrital modes and heavy-mineral suites of hinterland-river sediments.After long-distance fluvial transport, Orange sand is washed by ocean waves and dragged northwards by vigorous longshore currents. Under the incessant action of southerly winds, sand is blown inland and carried farther north to accumulate in the Namib erg, a peculiar wind-dominated sediment sink displaced hundreds of kilometres away from the river mouth. And yet changes in sand mineralogy along the way are minor. After a multistep journey of cumulative 3000. km from their source in Lesotho, volcanic rock fragments and pyroxene are found in unchanged abundance as far as the northern edge of the desert. Only locally is volcanic detritus slightly depleted and minor but regular enrichment in quartz and garnet is observed, the sole potential effect of prolonged transport or recycling of Tertiary aeolianites. Selective comminution of fragile minerals is thus proved unable to substantially modify sand composition in fluvial, coastal, or aeolian settings. Mechanical processes have a much greater effect on the morphology of detrital grains, which in Namib dunes appear commonly shaped into nearly perfect spheres. Aeolian sorting concentrates denser minerals locally in placer lags, but such effects can be identified and compensated for. This study demonstrates that mechanical breakdown is unable to markedly affect provenance signatures even during long-distance and prolonged multistep transport in high-energy settings. In arid climates, where chemical processes are negligible, high-resolution bulk-petrography and heavy-mineral analyses are thus powerful techniques to quantitatively reconstruct provenance, and to trace sediment sources and dispersal paths over distances up to thousands of kilometres. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Cipolla L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gregori M.,University of Milan Bicocca | So P.-W.,King's College London
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2011

Carbohydrate chemistry and glycobiology have become a "hot" subject. These extensive, complex structures serve essential roles in cell surface phenomena, but we are only beginning to understand what some of these functions are; any advances in the development of synthetic and/or analytical tools for glycobiology are extremely useful for our understanding of the roles of carbohydrates in biology, and as biomarkers of physiological/pathological states. This review provides an outlook of the potential of carbohydrate chemistry/ biology in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a major important and prominent technique in diagnostic clinical medicine and biomedical research. During the last 30 years, MRI has developed from an intriguing research project to an essential diagnostic method in the clinic. Although MRI contrast in endogenous tissues provides excellent sensitivity for detecting subtle changes in anatomy and function, MRI still has poor specificity for attributing image contrast to specific biological processes. To overcome this limitation, MRI methods are being developed that induce changes in MR image contrast in response to molecular compositions and functions that serve as early biomarkers of pathologies. Carbohydrates with their intriguing chemistry, not only can provide structures for novel MRI probes for imaging specific biological processes, but can themselves provide novel targets/biomarkers. For example, the glycan structure can simply provide a molecular scaffold for modulating the physicochemical properties of the imaging contrast agent, or can be used for the design of novel MR agents with the ability to disclose relevant physiological or pathological cellular events. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Stergiou G.S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Asmar R.,Foundation Medical Research Institute | O'Brien E.,University College Dublin
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2012

For more than half a century measurement of blood pressure in the doctor's office using a mercury sphygmomanometer and the auscultatory method has been the cornerstone for hypertension management. However, due to the environmental and service issues mercury devices will not be available in the near future. As the mercury sphygmomanometer is being progressively eliminated from clinical use, it is being replaced by a variety of devices, which may not have been validated. This change in the practice of measurement may have an unpredictable impact on the threshold levels used for the diagnosis of hypertension and may also influence the management of hypertension. This expert document provides (i) information on the current availability of technologies and devices with potential for professional use (oscillometric, hybrid, aneroid and mercury devices) and the advantages and limitations of each one of them, and (ii) guidance on the requirements and selection of mercury-free blood pressure monitors for professional use. With the increasing use of automated oscillometric devices it is likely that the auscultatory technique will soon become redundant. However, consideration will be given to some of the technical aspects of the oscillometric technique and to the educational aspects of auscultation that may make it premature to abandon the technique altogether. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Cremonesi S.,King's College London | Tomasiello A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2016

Abstract: An infinite class of analytic AdS7 × S3 solutions has recently been found. The S3 is distorted into a “crescent roll” shape by the presence of D8-branes. These solutions are conjectured to be dual to a class of “linear quivers”, with a large number of gauge groups coupled to (bi-)fundamental matter and tensor fields. In this paper we perform a precise quantitative check of this correspondence, showing that the a Weyl anomalies computed in field theory and gravity agree. In the holographic limit, where the number of gauge groups is large, the field theory result is a quadratic form in the gauge group ranks involving the inverse of the AN Cartan matrix C. The agreement can be understood as a continuum limit, using the fact that C is a lattice analogue of a second derivative. The discrete data of the field theory, summarized by two partitions, become in this limit the continuous functions in the geometry. Conversely, the geometry of the internal space gets discretized at the quantum level to the discrete data of the two partitions. © 2016, The Author(s).

Paulesu E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Paulesu E.,Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Galeazzi | Danelli L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Berlingeri M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Developmental dyslexia has been the focus of much functional anatomical research. The main trust of this work is that typical developmental dyslexics have a dysfunction of the phonological and orthography to phonology conversion systems, in which the left occipito-temporal cortex has a crucial role. It remains to be seen whether there is a systematic co-occurrence of dysfunctional patterns of different functional systems perhaps converging on the same brain regions associated with the reading deficit. Such evidence would be relevant for theories like, for example, the magnocellular/attentional or the motor/cerebellar ones, which postulate a more basic and anatomically distributed disorder in dyslexia. We addressed this issue with a meta-analysis of all the imaging literature published until September 2013 using a combination of hierarchical clustering and activation likelihood estimation methods. The clustering analysis on 2360 peaks identified 193 clusters, 92 of which proved spatially significant. Following binomial tests on the clusters, we found left hemispheric network specific for normal controls (i.e., of reduced involvement in dyslexics) including the left inferior frontal, premotor, supramarginal cortices and the left infero-temporal and fusiform regions: these were preferentially associated with reading and the visual-to-phonology processes. There was also a more dorsal left fronto-parietal network: these clusters included peaks from tasks involving phonological manipulation, but also motoric or visuo-spatial perception/attention. No cluster was identified in area V5 for no task, nor cerebellar clusters showed a reduced association with dyslexics. We conclude that the examined literature demonstrates a specific lack of activation of the left occipito-temporal cortex in dyslexia particularly for reading and reading-like behaviors and for visuo-phonological tasks. Additional deficits of motor and attentional systems relevant for reading may be associated with altered functionality of dorsal left fronto-parietal cortex. © 2014 Paulesu, Danelli and Berlingeri.

Khan A.D.,Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology | Khan S.D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Khan R.U.,Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology | Ahmad N.,Northern Borders University
Plasmonics | Year: 2014

The presence of plasmonic Fano-like resonances in the optical response of isolated and dimer metal-dielectric-metal nanostructures are investigated theoretically. The nanostructures are engineered in such a way to support multiple Fano-like resonances that are induced by the interference of bright and dark plasmon modes. It is found that the dimer resonators exhibit different types of Fano resonances for both the transverse and longitudinal polarizations unlike conventional nanodimers. Several configurations of the dimer Fano resonator are analyzed with special emphasis on the Fano spectral line shape. Breaking the symmetry of the dimer nanostructure in various directions control the asymmetric line shape and provides different kinds of unique Fano resonances. In certain cases, the Fano resonators exhibit multiple Fano resonances that are particularly significant for plasmon line shaping and can serve as platforms for multi-wavelength sensing applications. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.

Caravagna G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mauri G.,University of Milan Bicocca | d'Onofrio A.,Italian National Cancer Institute
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

After being considered as a nuisance to be filtered out, it became recently clear that biochemical noise plays a complex role, often fully functional, for a biomolecular network. The influence of intrinsic and extrinsic noises on biomolecular networks has intensively been investigated in last ten years, though contributions on the co-presence of both are sparse. Extrinsic noise is usually modeled as an unbounded white or colored gaussian stochastic process, even though realistic stochastic perturbations are clearly bounded. In this paper we consider Gillespie-like stochastic models of nonlinear networks, i.e. the intrinsic noise, where the model jump rates are affected by colored bounded extrinsic noises synthesized by a suitable biochemical state-dependent Langevin system. These systems are described by a master equation, and a simulation algorithm to analyze them is derived. This new modeling paradigm should enlarge the class of systems amenable at modeling. We investigated the influence of both amplitude and autocorrelation time of a extrinsic Sine-Wiener noise on: (i) the Michaelis-Menten approximation of noisy enzymatic reactions, which we show to be applicable also in co-presence of both intrinsic and extrinsic noise, (ii) a model of enzymatic futile cycle and (iii) a genetic toggle switch. In (ii) and (iii) we show that the presence of a bounded extrinsic noise induces qualitative modifications in the probability densities of the involved chemicals, where new modes emerge, thus suggesting the possible functional role of bounded noises. © 2013 Caravagna et al.

Frattini P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Crosta G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Carrara A.,CNR Institute of Electronics, Computer and Telecommunication Engineering
Engineering Geology | Year: 2010

Evaluating the performance of landslide susceptibility models is needed to ensure their reliable application to risk management and land-use planning. When results from multiple models are available, a comparison of their performance is necessary to select the model which performs better. In this paper, different techniques to evaluate model performance are discussed and tested using shallow landslide/debris-flow susceptibility models recently presented in the literature (Carrara, A., Crosta, G.B., Frattini, P., 2008. Comparing models of debris-flow susceptibility in the alpine environment. Geomorphology 94 (3-4), 353-378). Moreover, an evaluation technique based on the minimization of costs that may arise from the adoption of the model as a land management regulatory tool, is presented. The results of the application show that simple statistics such as Accuracy, Threat score, Gilbert's skill score, Pierce's skill score, Heidke skill score, and Yule's Q are problematic as they need to split the classified objects into two classes (e.g., stable/unstable) by defining an a-priori value of cutoff susceptibility, which is often not trivial. ROC curves and Success-Rate curves are cutoff-independent and can be used to efficiently visualize and compare the performance of models, but do not explicitly include classification costs. In addition, Success-Rate curves, under certain conditions, can be misleading when applied to grid-cell models. Cost curves include costs and a-priori probabilities, and are suitable for landslide susceptibility model performance evaluation from a practical point of view. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 10.14M | Year: 2008

When restoration of the immune response in older age is the target of basic and clinical research, boosting innate and adaptive immunity, e.g. by more efficient vaccination strategies, is the general approach. However, TOLERAGE has a fundamentally different focus, i.e. restoring the age-dependent decline of auto-tolerance that underlies the development of the paradigmatic age-associated diseases atherosclerosis (AS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These diseases represent the major medical and socioeconomic burden in aging societies. They start earlier in life but become clinically manifest with increasing age. To reach this aim a consortium of ten partner groups was formed that have an outstanding track record in areas of immunology pertinent for this task. The work of TOLERAGE will focus on three major issues, viz. 1. Investigating basic principles of the induction of central and peripheral tolerance in mice against autoantigens, including heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) that has been shown to play a major role in the development of AS and RA. 2. Determination of the mediators of central and peripheral tolerance that are responsible for the T effector/T regulatory cell dysbalance in older age in general and in AS and RA in particular. 3. Translation of the results obtained in (a) and (b) into practical application for the prevention and treatment of AS and RA by appropriate vaccines. For all partners, important technical platforms will be available, including unique transgenic and knockout mouse strains, sophisticated models for in vitro and in vivo transfection of dendritic cells (DCs) and a well established Functional Genomics Facility.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: H2020-TWINN-2015 | Award Amount: 999.99K | Year: 2016

The overall aim of the ASCIMAT project is to boost the scientific excellence and technology-transfer capacity in advanced scintillating materials of the Institute of Physics from the Czech Academy of Sciences (FZU) by creating a network with the high-quality Twinning partners: European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Institut Lumire Matire - Universit Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (ILM-Universit Lyon 1), Universit degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca (UNIMIB), and Intelligentsia Consultants (Intelligentsia). To achieve this aim, the 3 year project will build upon the existing strong research and innovation base of FZU and its Twinning partners. To boost their scientific excellence and technology transfer capacity in advanced scintillating materials, the partners will implement a research and innovation strategy focused on three sub-topics: 1. Radiation damage and timing characteristics of scintillation materials, 2. Material dimensionality influence and characteristics under different excitation modes, and 3. Defect influence on the transfer stage of scintillation mechanisms. The research and innovation strategy takes into account the recent SWOT analysis of FFZU and has the following objectives: Objective 1: Strengthen FZUs research excellence in advanced scintillating materials Objective 2: Enhance the research and innovation capacity of FZU and the Twinning partners Objective 3: Raise the research profile of FZU and the Twinning Partners Objective 4: Contribute to the SMART Specialisation Strategy of the Czech Republic Objective 5: Support research and innovation on a European level In order to achieve these objectives, the consortium partners will implement a comprehensive set of measures via the projects work packages: Short term staff exchanges (WP1); Training workshops, conferences and summer schools (WP2); Dissemination and outreach (WP3).

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.85M | Year: 2015

This ETN is embedded into an established international research programme; The European Research Initiative on Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK)-related malignancies (ERIA; is an existing and functional network of 13 partners, which will cosset and nurture a cohort of early stage researchers to become confident, competent, independent and well-connected European scientists with excellent career perspectives. ERIA was instigated to coordinate research into ALK-related malignancies to facilitate the development of less-toxic and more efficacious therapies. ALK is increasingly recognised as a prevalent oncogene in a number of human malignancies and therefore poses a prominent clinical problem, which requires coordinated research into its oncogenic mechanisms. ERIA now conducts a collaborative multidisciplinary research programme at the interface of biomedical and bio-mechanistic approaches, which will be an excellent environment to train the next generation of European scientists. The 15 recruited fellows will be incorporated into international academic study groups (all partners of the ERIA network) to perform high calibre research and also will be exposed to environments from other sectors to broaden their experience. Secondments will include technical training within individual laboratories and SMEs (TissueGnostics, Galkem, Cambridge Life Sciences, Sofigen and Varionostics) as well as large Pharma (Roche). Training through research will be complemented with a balanced programme of transferable skills and access to local courses. The training of each fellow will be guided by a personal career development plan and supervised by a PhD committee panel. The primary goal of the network is to train the recruited fellows by participation in an internationally competitive research programme and integrating them into an international network. Thereby providing competence in state-of-the-art research and development at the forefront of translational science.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 4.37M | Year: 2008

The European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility addresses an important need of European science and technology by providing experimental, industrial and other researchers with access to state-of-the-art computer simulation tools for electronic excited states in matter, together with high-quality support from ETSF personnel, mirroring the massive progress in the power and resolution of new European experimental facilities. All domains that need knowledge about electronic excitations, transport and spectroscopy will benefit from the ETSF, such as condensed matter physics and chemistry, biology, materials science and nanoscience, atmospheric science, and astrophysics. The ETSF provides users with computer codes, background knowledge, customised support and development, training, and collaborators to enhance their studies of the electronic and transport properties of complex or nanoscale materials. Its focus is on the rapid transfer of ground-breaking fundamental knowledge of matter, at the quantum-mechanical level, to detailed understanding and future-oriented design of prototypical or technologically relevant systems. The ETSF has been successfully designed and recently brought into operation by the Nanoquanta Network of Excellence with the support of national and local institutions. In the present ETSF-I3 project, the ETSF is partnered by the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre to create a framework for deploying the ETSF infrastructure to a much wider range of users, through user training and projects supported by ETSF scientists. The ETSF-I3 project will monitor the scientific and technological needs of users, and will boost the user-oriented development of ETSF software, algorithms and libraries made available on the most advanced computational platforms. ETSF-I3 will be crucial to keep the ETSF at the forefront of knowledge and establish it as the world-wide reference centre for modelling of electronic excited states.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 8.11M | Year: 2011

EU-MASCARA is a collaborative project that aims to improve diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases and prediction of cardiovascular risk by analysing a panel of biomarkers. EU-MASCARA aims to examine genetic, proteomic and metabolomic markers together with markers of inflammation, oxidative stress and cardiac remodelling to study their incremental diagnostic and predictive value over and above existing diagnostic and predictive algorithms. For this purpose a large number of cohorts from different European regions, both patient and population cohorts, that have been accurately assessed for cardiovascular phenotypes are readily available to the consortium. Access to clinical samples and to standardised cardiovascular phenotypes will be granted by a strong clinical platform as one of the key work packages of EU-MASCARA. Both cross-sectional and prospective analyses will be performed that will result in the development of improved risk prediction scores. The consortium is heavily supported by contributions of SMEs in key areas of the proposed research: biomarker testing, data handling and analysis, assay development and project management. EU-MASCARA is further characterised by a strong integrative approach both within and across work packages, with results from one task informing strategies of research in other tasks. With a dedicated bioinformatics and health economic platform the most robust biomarkers will be selected and analysed for their benefit in clinical practice. EU-MASCARA will rigorously validate biomarkers that have been proposed to be associated with cardiovascular disease and risk across different disease entities and also in independent general population samples. The most robust biomarkers will be implemented in novel biochip based assays for clinical use.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMBP-02-2016 | Award Amount: 8.05M | Year: 2017

Silicon carbide presents a high breakdown field (2-4 MV/cm) and a high energy band gap (2.33.2 eV), largely higher than for silicon. Within this frame, the cubic polytype of SiC (3C-SiC) is the only one that can be grown on a host substrate with the huge opportunity to grow only the silicon carbide thickness required for the targeted application. The possible growth on silicon substrate has remained for long period a real advantage in terms of scalability regarding the reduced diameter of hexagonal SiC wafer commercially available. Even the relatively narrow band-gap of 3C-SiC (2.3eV), which is often regarded as detrimental in comparison with other polytypes, can in fact be an advantage. The lowering of the conduction band minimum brings about a reduced density of states at the SiO2/3C-SiC interface and MOSFET on 3C-SiC has demonstrated the highest channel mobility of above 300 cm2/(Vxs) ever achieved on SiC crystals, prompting a remarkable reduction in the power consumption of these power switching devices. The electrical activity of extended defects in 3C SiC is a major concern for electronic device functioning. To achieve viable commercial yields the mechanisms of defects must be understood and methods for their reduction developed.. In this project new approaches for the reduction of defects will be used, working on new compliance substrates that can help to reduce the stress and the defect density at the same time. This growth process will be driven by numerical simulations of the growth and simulations of the stress reduction. The structure of the final devices will be simulated using the appropriated numerical tools where new numerical model will be introduced to take into account the properties of the new material. Thanks to these simulations tools and the new material with low defect density, several devices that can work at high power and with low power consumption will be realized inside the project.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE-2007-3-2-05 | Award Amount: 1.49M | Year: 2008

Metabolic engineering is an applied science focusing on developing new cell factories or improving existing ones. Metabolic engineering is an enabling science, and distinguishes itself from applied genetic engineering by the use of advanced analytical tools for identification of appropriate targets for genetic modifications and the use of mathematical models to perform in silico design of optimized cell factories. In recent years, there has been increasing focus on using mathematical models for design. SYSIBIO will coordinate European activities in the field of model driven metabolic engineering and also coordination of activities on other technologies required for state of the art metabolic engineering, e.g. metabolomics and fluxomics. The coordination of activities will involve establishing a database containing metabolic models for different industrially important microorganisms. The database will also contain different simulation tools required for use of these models to identify metabolic engineering targets and use of these models for analysis of omics data. SYSINBIO will also coordinate the further development of techniques required for metabolic engineering, such as metabolomics, fluxomics and identification of mutations in evolved strains. Furthermore, an important part of SYSINBIO will be coordination of education and training in the field of metabolic engineering in Europe.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 1.09M | Year: 2015

Currently, new concepts are being considered for hadron and jet calorimetry in high energy physics experiments, in order to improve the energy resolution of these detectors by a factor of at least two. This is a prerequisite for future studies at the high luminosity, large hadron collider as well as at future electron and proton colliders. Amongst the few concepts being proposed, scintillating and erenkov fibres are considered very promising candidates. The INTELUM project will be a 4 year project funding international, industry-academia exchanges to develop micro-pulling-down crystal growth and other new types of fibre technology. This new fibre production technology has the potential to enable fast, low-cost, manufacture of heavy crystal scintillating fibres. In order to prove the new fibre technology concept, two key technical issues will be addressed during the project: demonstrate feasibility of producing between 20-200km of fibres with consistent quality and well defined production costs demonstrate sufficient radiation hardness of the fibres that the degradation of their optical properties is below 10% at 1 MGy level This ambitious project will be undertaken by a truly international consortium of sixteen institutes and companies, many closely linked to the Crystal Clear Collaboration. The project will also lead to important impacts in other domains such as functional medical imaging and homeland security.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2016

Roughly one-third of all energy consumption ends up as low-grade heat. Thermoelectric (TE) materials could potentially convert vast amounts of this waste heat into electricity and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. State-of-the-art nanostructured materials with record-low thermal conductivities (~1-2W/mK) have recently demonstrated large improvements in conversion efficiencies, but not high enough to enable large scale implementation. Central to this low efficiency problem lies the fact that the Seebeck coefficient (S) and the electrical conductivity (), the parameters that determine the TE power factor (S2), are inversely related. Relaxing this inverse interdependence has never been achieved, and TE efficiency remains low. My recent work in nanostructured materials, however, demonstrated for the first time how such a significant event can be achieved, and unprecedentedly large power factors compared to the corresponding bulk material were reported. This project focuses around four ambitious objectives: i) Theoretically establish and generalize the strategies that relax the adverse interdependence of and S in nanostructures and achieve power factors >5 compared to the state-of-the-art; ii) Experimentally validate the theoretical propositions through well-controlled material design examples; iii) Provide a predictive, state-of-the-art, high-performance, electro-thermal simulator to generalize the concept and guide the design of the entirely new nanostructured TE materials proposed. Appropriate theory and techniques will be developed so that the tool includes all relevant nanoscale transport physics to ensure accuracy in predictions. Simulation capabilities for a large selection of materials and structures will be included; iv) Develop robust, inverse-design optimization capabilities within the simulator, targeting maximum performance. In the long run, the simulator could evolve as a core platform that impacts many different fields of nanoscience as well.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-4.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.77M | Year: 2008

The Safety Of non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (SOS) proposal aims to assess the relative cardiovascular (CVD) and gastrointestinal (GI) safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The NSAIDs are divided in traditional NSAIDs (tNSAIDs) and the newer COX-II inhibitors(coxibs). The aim will be fulfilled by a two-phase approach comprising systematic reviews and synthesis of CVD and GI risk information from clinical trials and published observational studies, followed by the design and conduct of a multi-country study in existing health care databases in the UK, Netherlands, Germany and France, comprising medical information on at least 35 million persons. A data ware house will be constructed that will contain all pre-specified and locally elaborated anonimized data from inception cohorts of NSAID users. Data elaboration is standardized through a common protocol that will be designed on the basis of information and knowledge gaps observed in the systematic literature reviews, plus information requirements for the statistical and decision models. The database study will yield risk estimates for CVD and GI bleeding for each individual NSAID by dose and duration and by other important effect modifiers (e.g. aspirin use). Separate models will be built for children since the indications and dosages differ and little is known on the safety of NSAIDs in this group as they are often prescribed off-label. Special emphasis will be put on the assessment and evaluation of methodological issues, such as confounding by indication, and outcome validity as these constitute the most important threats to the interpretation, robustness and perceived validity of observational studies. The results of the literature reviews, analysis of observational databases and re-analysis of published studies will feed into a decision model for clinicians to support treatment decisions and a decision model for regulatory authorities that will focus on the public health risk.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 3.76M | Year: 2008

Experienced Researchers from the Universities of Iasi, Brest, Jena, Manchester, Marrakech and Milano propose an Initial Training Network Marie Curie on the theme Deterministic and Stochastic Controlled Systems and Applications. This project aims to unite the six teams with their complementary competences in - Controlled Systems: Deterministic and Stochastic Control, Game Theory, - Stochastic Equations: Stochastic Differential Equations, Stochastic Partial Differential Equations , Backward Stochastic Differential Equations, and - Levy processes as well as fractal processes, in order to investigate problems arising in the interaction between these competences and allowing to study, in cooperation with our industrial partners (coming from the bank and insurance sector), related problems in - Finance and Insurance, but also in - Natural Sciences, namely, the problem of transport in porous media. The Early-Stage Researchers and the Experienced Researchers recruited by the network will be integrated from the early beginning in research projects between teams with complementary competences which should allow them (as well as the qualified researchers from the different teams) to profit from synergy effects and find quite new answers to the research problems. Besides an individual research training under supervision of qualified researchers and a local training programme the young researcher will also profit from network-wide training offers including namely - annual schools on subjects reflecting the different competences of the network teams, - a first professional experience in research with one of our industrial partners, as well as - workshops and international conferences which will give to the young researchers the possibility to present and discuss their results in research and to find contacts also with researchers outside the network and representatives of all the industrial partners of our network.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 9.30M | Year: 2013

The present project is aimed to the development of a multi-step process for the production of second-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass in a cost-efficient way through the use of tailored nanostructured catalysts. The proposed process is based on the cascade combination of three catalytic transformations: catalytic pyrolysis, intermediate deoxygenation and hydrodeoxygenation. The sequential coupling of catalytic steps will be an essential factor for achieving a progressive and controlled biomass deoxygenation, which is expected to lead to liquid biofuels with a chemical composition and properties similar to those of oil-derived fuels. According to this strategy, the best nanocatalytic system in each step will be selected to deal with the remarkable chemical complexity of lignocellulose pyrolysis products, as well as to optimize the bio-oil yield and properties. Since hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) is outlined in this scheme as the ultimate deoxygenation treatment, the overall hydrogen consumption should be strongly minimized, resulting in a significant improvement of the process economic profitability. The use of nanostructured catalysts will be the key tool for obtaining in each chemical step of the cascade process, the optimum deoxygenation degree, as well as high efficiency, in terms both of matter and energy, minimizing at the same time the possible environmental impacts. The project will involve experiments at laboratory, bench and pilot plant scales, as well as a viability study of its possible commercial application. Thereby, the integrated process will be assessed according to technical, economic, social, safety, toxicological and environmental criteria. The consortium will be formed by 17 partners, including 4 research institutions, 6 universities, 5 large industries and 2 SME.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2011

In 2010 a widely marketed drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) (rosiglitazone) was taken from the market as it was associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction, a T2DM complication it was actually supposed to prevent. This example shows several things. First, the approval requirements do not guarantee a longer term positive benefit risk profile. Second, large scale postmarketing studies are desperately needed to monitor the benefit risk profile throughout the lifecycle of T2DM drugs, and to achieve the required scale collaboration across countries is mandatory. Many novel T2DM drugs have come to the market, all on the basis of the same surrogate endpoints. New safety issues are constantly arising, such as potential associations with pancreatitis, pancreas cancer, bladder cancer, acute renal failure, etc. In the SAFEGUARD Consortium we have assembled an excellent multidisciplinary group of experts who collaboratively aim to quantify the cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and pancreatic safety risk of the T2DM drugs, in particular the more novel drugs by investigating 1) published clinical trials and observational studies; 2) spontaneously reported adverse event reports in national and international pharmacovigilance databases; 3) data from nine population-based health care databases in six countries capturing longitudinal drug exposure and event data on more than 1.7 million T2DM patients. Data elaboration will be distributed but standardized through common protocols, data models and scripts. To put the epidemiological results into perspective, intensive monitoring mechanistic studies in human will be conducted to further understand how and why these T2DM drugs may affect the cardiovascular, digestive or renal system. The SAFEGUARD consortium will yield a harmonized epidemiological data platform on a large T2DM population, which could easily be used to address newly occurring safety issues in the future.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.1.1-04 | Award Amount: 3.16M | Year: 2010

BIO_SOS (BIOdiversity multi-SOurce monitoring System: from Space TO Species is a response to the Call for proposals FP7- SPACE-2010-1, addressing topic SPACE.2010.1.1-04 Stimulating the development of GMES services in specific areas with application to (B) BIODIVERSITY. BIO_SOS is a pilot project for effective and timely multi-annual monitoring of NATURA 2000 sites and their surrounding in support to management decisions in sample areas, mainly in Mediterranean regions and for the reporting on status and trends according to National and EU obligations. The aim of BIO_SOS is two-fold: 1) the development and validation of a prototype multi-modular system to provide a reliable long term biodiversity monitoring service at high to very high-spatial resolution; 2) to embed monitoring information (changes) in innovative ecological (environmental) modelling for Natura 2000 site management. The system will be developed and validated within ecologically sensitive sampling sites and their borders exposed to combined human-induced pressures. Different environmental characteristics of the selected sites have been considered in order to ensure system robustness. Sites characteristics ranges from mountain rough to flat coastal morphologies, from rangeland to human dominated landscapes and land uses. BIO_SOS intends to deeply investigate issues related to very high spatial (VHR) (and spectral) resolution Earth Observation data (EO) image processing for automatic land cover maps updating and change detection. Such maps are at the base of biodiversity indicators provision. On the other hand, it intends to develop a modelling framework to combine multi-scale (high to very high resolution) EO data and in-situ/ancillary data to provide indicators and their trends. This means the development of more appropriate and accurate models in support to a deeper understanding, assessment and prediction of the impacts that human induced pressures may have on biodiversity loss.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-3 | Award Amount: 11.25M | Year: 2013

IMPRESSIONS will provide empirically-grounded, transformative science that quantifies and explains the consequences of high-end climate scenarios for both decision-makers and society. IMPRESSIONS will develop and apply a novel participatory methodology that explicitly deals with uncertainties and strong non-linear changes focussing on high-end climate change, but also including intermediate warming levels. This new methodology will build on the representative concentration pathways (RCPs) and shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs) to create a coherent set of high-end climate and socio-economic scenarios covering multiple scales. These scenarios will be applied to a range of impact, adaptation and vulnerability models that build on theories of complex systems and address tipping elements as key characteristics of such systems. The models will be embedded within an innovative multi-scale integrated assessment approach to improve analysis of cross-scale interactions and cross-sectoral benefits, conflicts and trade-offs. Model results will inform the development of time- and path-dependent transition pathways. These will include mechanisms to foster synergies between adaptation and mitigation and will aim to build resilience in the face of uncertainty. Methods will be applied within five linked multi-sectoral case studies at global, European and regional/local scales. Stakeholders within these case studies will be fully engaged in the research process through a series of in-depth professionally facilitated workshops which maximise their active participation in defining high-end scenarios and adaptation and mitigation pathways, and in analysing the inherent risks and opportunities of new policy strategies. This will build the capacity of stakeholders to understand the risks, opportunities, costs and benefits associated with different adaptation and mitigation pathways under high-end scenarios, and how they might be effectively embedded within decision-making processes.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2013

Organic thin-films constitute a fast growing area of electronic and opto-electronic devices that offer cost-effective and flexible solutions for e.g. improved energy efficiency and energy harvesting. Due to the achievements made during the past decade, the development of such sustainable energy devices has already reached an early commercialization stage, however, in order to further boost their uptake on the market, improvement of device efficiency and lifetime is still needed. Such improvement requires a profound knowledge about fundamental properties of thin-film hybrid interfaces and their implementation in devices a knowledge that is already requested from established and new companies focusing on organic electronic and opto-electronic devices. With this project, we establish a network that trains and educates young researchers within the area of hybrid thin-film interfaces for sustainable energy devices. In order to provide training and education that are of both high quality and of relevance for the market, the research training programmes are in this consortium based on a combination of state-of-the-art research and industrial development and production processes. The consortium consists of 5 full university partners, 1 research organization, 2 full industry partners, 4 associate industry partners and 1 associate research organization. The partners in the consortium are deliberately chosen in order to build up a unique cluster between universities and companies. Such cluster provides the young researchers in the consortium strong competence on 1) state-of-the-art research, 2) innovation and entrepreneurship and 3) large through-put industrial production processes. The training network combines expertise on modeling, thin-film formation, device fabrication and characterization (multidisciplinary aspect) in order to provide solutions for a range of different sustainable energy applications such as thin-film transistors and solar cells (intersectoral aspect).

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-4.0-4 | Award Amount: 14.37M | Year: 2008

The search for effective therapies and early detection strategies for Alzheimers Disease (AD), the major cause of dementia in Europe, is imperative. It is known that -amyloid (A) peptide plays a central role in neurodegeneration. In AD brain, A is released in a soluble form that progressively becomes insoluble forming aggregates; extracellular plaques mainly composed of A are a hallmark of post-mortem brains. These premises strongly suggest brain A as a possible target for therapy and diagnosis of AD. In addition, it is known that brain and blood A pools are in equilibrium via the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). Accordingly, it has been reported that removal of blood A may withdraw the excess of brain A by a sink effect. Thus, blood A is another potential target. The aim of this project is to utilize nanoparticles (NPs) specifically engineered for targeting brain A, for the combined diagnosis and therapy (theranostics) of AD. NPs (liposomes, solid lipid NPs, polymeric-NPs) will be multiple-functionalized with: i) a large arsenal of molecules (specific lipids, antiamyloidogenic drugs, polyphenols, heteroaromatic compounds, unnatural peptides and peptidomimetics, antibodies) interacting with A in all aggregation forms, ii) PET or MRI contrast agents detecting such interaction, iii) molecules stimulating BBB crossing via the transcytotic route. Several artificial and cellular models will be used to fine-tune such features and to improve NPs biocompatibility, non-immunogenicity, non-toxicity and physical stability. Eventually, absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion will be studied using animal models of AD. Different routes (i.v., oral, nasal) and protocols (two-step, NPs cocktails, aerosols) of administration will be utilized to boost NPs brain delivery. The prediction is that NPs will detect, disaggregate and remove A brain deposits. In any case, NPs will interact with blood A, withdrawing the excess of brain peptide by a sink effect.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.08M | Year: 2016

Understanding and predicting ecosystem functions remains a major challenge in evaluating ecosystem services and biophysical controls on biosphere-atmosphere interactions, as current dynamic vegetation models are still not capable of grasping the spatial and temporal variability in ecosystem processes. Remote sensing (RS) data at a range of scales from proximal observations to global extent sampling can detect essential changes in plant traits (PTs), biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, providing a method for scaling-up. However there are still methodological and technical constraints that hamper a systematic incorporation of RS in ecosystem models, including scalability and multi-source data integration issues. TRuStEE will train a new generation of scientists with complementary and interdisciplinary skills in ecosystem modelling, plant physiology, RS technologies and big data analysis, addressing the specific objectives: 1) to identify essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) and the link with PTs and ecosystem functional properties (EFPs), inferable from RS, 2) to investigate a completely new avenue for assessing vegetation photosynthetic efficiency from RS measurements of canopy fluorescence, 3) to assimilate diverse RS data streams with varying spatial and temporal resolution in dynamic ecosystem models and 4) to exploit new satellite missions (e.g. ESA-FLEX, ESA-Sentinels, NASA-GEDI) and EO products for the upscaling of PTs, EBVs and EFPs. The early stage researchers (ESRs) involved will strongly benefit from the network of internationally recognized scientists and private companies with relevant expertise in these topics. The cooperation program proposed will link academic and non-academic participants to allow the circulation of ESRs giving them the opportunity to become new research and innovation leaders in the most cutting edge sophisticated technologies in the field, increasing their employability in both academic and private sectors.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.90M | Year: 2017

We propose to forge a partnership between the leading European groups working on the next generation of solid state quantum emitters based on novel growth methods such as Droplet Epitaxy. Future, practical Nano-photonics and Quantum Circuits applications demand semiconductor quantum dots that can be grown on substrates with different lattice parameters (Si, Ge, GaAs), different substrate orientations (such as (001) and (111)) and tuneable optical, electrical and spin properties. All these requirements are met by high quality quantum dots grown with Droplet based Epitaxy techniques, circumventing the limitations of currently available systems based on strain-driven dot self-assembly. This vast novel research area at the crossroads of photonics, material science, quantum physics and nano-scale device fabrication will allow delivering top level multidisciplinary training to 15 early stage researcher (ESRs). The successful training of the ESRs by leading academic and 3 full industrial partners will be crucial for achieving the headline goals of this first ever consortium on droplet dot devices: (1) Entangled light emitting diodes with droplet dots grown on (111) substrates (2) Electrically triggered, droplet dot based single photon sources on Si/Ge substrates (3) Strain tuning in droplet dots without wetting layer: photon polarization and single spin control (4) Droplet Dot based single photon sources for non- classical light storage devices based on hybrid quantum systems (dots & laser-cooled atoms). The training and research progress will be discussed and monitored during the 4 project meetings, 3 summer schools and the final international conference on Droplet Dot Devices, all of which are open to the whole scientific community. We expect this network, based on the solid collaboration between growth groups, microscopists, quantum optics experimentalists and theorists to explore the full potential of this emerging technology.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: SSH.2013.4.1-2 | Award Amount: 3.12M | Year: 2014

Young people in the South and East Mediterranean area are enduring a multiple transitions. In addition to the political and socioeconomic transformations, there is the transition to adulthood from the famous tripartite division of the life cycle in preparation for professional life, working life and retirement. Other experiences of socio-economic transformation, as in East Europe, may give us learnt lessons to manage economic, political and social change. Today, there are no longer substantial differences separating the young people of west and east. Nevertheless, there are important differences in economic resources, education and social between two shores of the Mediterranean. In addition, the SEM young Europeans differ in cultural values and practices different from their counterparts in the north. Still, some processes linked to economic globalization and the precarious living conditions, labor and difficulties in individual empowerment, among others, suggest the emergence of a youth crime and its consolidation as a category of scientific analysis. This argument lets you put so research that supports integrating the European experiences in youth employment, political participation and gender equality, the youth situation in the context of transition and European double in similar scenarios on the south bank. To articulate such research dimensions the project will articulate the concept of triple transition, taking into account political transitions, socio-economic transitions, and invisible transition such as cultural trends and emotions related to youth and the insecurity about the future (resident generation)

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-3-2014 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2015

There has never been a greater need for skilled managers and operators of research infrastructure (RI). Europe must develop the workforce that will turn ~50 nascent RIs with sites in different countries into powerhouses of support for major projects comparable to understanding the blueprint of life or discovering new subatomic particles. RItrain will develop a flagship training programme enabling RIs across all domains to gain expertise on governance, organisation, financial and staff management, funding, IP, service provision and outreach in an international context. It will be designed and delivered by experts who have set up and managed RIs from concept to maturity. We will define competencies required by RIs through consultation with their senior managers. The resulting competency framework will underpin a Bologna-compliant degree, the Master in Research Infrastructure Management, with three delivery routes. (1) Professionals working in RIs (or organisations representing them) can dip into the content, focusing on areas where there is most need. (2) Management teams can take the course as an organisation, dividing modules between them to gain a certificate for the RI. This will flag the RI as an organisation that values staff development, improving its attractiveness as an employer. (3) Recent graduates and others wishing to enhance their employability can take a full masters degree. Course content will include webinars led by senior managers of RIs. A staff-exchange programme will catalyse exchange of best practice and foster cooperation to develop a mobile work force effective across many RIs. By the end of the project we will be delivering a masters curriculum funded through course fees. Others with an interest in adopting it will be encouraged to do so, providing a means of expanding the programme. Europes research community and global collaborators will gain from world-class facilities to support excellent, high-impact research to benefit humankind.

Cunha C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Panseri S.,Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute | Panseri S.,University of Bologna | Antonini S.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute
Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine | Year: 2011

Effective nerve regeneration and functional recovery subsequent to peripheral nerve injury is still a clinical challenge. Autologous nerve graft transplantation is a feasible treatment in several clinical cases, but it is limited by donor site morbidity and insufficient donor tissue, impairing complete functional recovery. Tissue engineering has introduced innovative approaches to promote and guide peripheral nerve regeneration by using biomimetic conduits creating favorable microenvironments for nervous ingrowth, but despite the development of a plethora of nerve prostheses, few approaches have as yet entered the clinic. Promising strategies using nanotechnology have recently been proposed, such as the use of scaffolds with functionalized cell-binding domains, the use of guidance channels with cell-scale internally oriented fibers, and the possibility of sustained release of neurotrophic factors. This review addresses the fabrication, advantages, drawbacks, and results achieved by the most recent nanotechnology approaches in view of future solutions for peripheral nerve repair. From the Clinical Editor: Peripheral nerve repair strategies are very limited despite numerous advances on the field of neurosciences and regenerative medicine. This review discusses nanotechnology based strategies including scaffolds with functionalized cell binding domains, the use of guidance channels, and the potential use of sustained release neurotropic factors. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Jeon J.S.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Bersini S.,Polytechnic of Milan | Bersini S.,Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Irccs | Gilardi M.,Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Irccs | And 5 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

A key aspect of cancer metastases is the tendency for specific cancer cells to home to defined subsets of secondary organs. Despite these known tendencies, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we develop a microfluidic 3D in vitro model to analyze organ-specific human breast cancer cell extravasation into bone- and muscle-mimicking microenvironments through a microvascular network concentrically wrapped with mural cells. Extravasation rates and microvasculature permeabilities were significantly different in the bone-mimicking microenvironment compared with unconditioned or myoblast containing matrices. Blocking breast cancer cell A3 adenosine receptors resulted in higher extravasation rates of cancer cells into themyoblast-containingmatrices compared with untreated cells, suggesting a role for adenosine in reducing extravasation. These results demonstrate the efficacy of our model as a drug screening platform and a promising tool to investigate specific molecular pathways involved in cancer biology, with potential applications to personalized medicine. © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Vohra V.,CNR Institute for Macromolecular Studies | Vohra V.,Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology | Giovanella U.,CNR Institute for Macromolecular Studies | Tubino R.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 2 more authors.
ACS Nano | Year: 2011

Nanofibers of poly[(9,9-dioctylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl)-alt-co-(1,4-benzo-{2, 1′,3}-thiadiazole)] (F8BT) blended in polystyrene (PS) or polyethylene oxide (PEO) show different diameters and morphology according to the conjugated polymer concentration. Electroluminescence from ribbonlike F8BT nanofibers, obtained by an annealing process of the F8BT/PEO blend, is successfully obtained by applying 6 V bias. Electrical connection is achieved by incorporating the F8BT fibers of about 700 nm width and 110 nm height into a single layer organic light emitting device, whose architecture induces charge recombination on the conjugated polymer nanofibers. This simple method to electrically connect the conjugated polymer nanofibers offers a great potential for low-cost flexible nanodevice fabrication. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Abeli T.,University of Pavia | Gentili R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mondoni A.,MUSE | Orsenigo S.,University of Pavia | Rossi G.,University of Pavia
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: Populations at the edge of a species' distribution range may differ substantially from central populations. Peripheral populations may have either a high evolutionary potential or be prone to extinction, but the processes driving these outcomes are still unclear. Peripheral plant populations have been the subject of numerous studies and reviews, with many focusing on their genetic characteristics. In this review, we consider the effect of marginality on demographic species-specific traits. Location: World-wide. Methods: We reviewed the literature based on direct comparisons between central and peripheral plant populations. Strict inclusion criteria were applied to avoid biased analysis that may arise as a result of inaccurate boundary considerations or inappropriate comparisons. We inferred from the published data whether a certain trait had a better performance in central or peripheral populations (reliability of the abundant centre hypothesis, ACH). Results: There have not been enough studies on plant performance to allow for generalizations on the effects of marginality on plants. ACH expectations were not met in most cases and specific responses to marginality were observed at the species and population levels. Population and plant size more often met the ACH assumptions, suggesting that most geographically peripheral populations are also ecologically marginal. The availability of resources, the reproductive strategy, the level of ploidy and the ability to cope with interspecific competitors seem to drive the numerous exceptions to the ACH expectations. Main conclusions: The large numbers of exceptions to the ACH expectations suggest that a new comprehensive theory is needed to explain the effects of marginality in plants and to identify any general patterns. From the theoretical point of view, we propose that population history and dynamics should be considered when attempting to explain the processes that occur in peripheral plant populations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Gatti E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Grilli E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Guzzi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Chrastina D.,Polytechnic of Milan | And 2 more authors.
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2011

We report on the observation of room temperature direct band gap photoluminescence in compressively strained-Ge multiple quantum wells with Ge-rich SiGe barriers. A detailed experimental study of the temperature dependence of the photoluminescence is carried out from 5 K up to room temperature. We find that the direct gap photoluminescence at room temperature is due to the thermal excitation of carriers from L-type to -type confined states. Room temperature photoluminescence shows that Ge/SiGe multiple quantum wells are promising candidates for efficient light emitting devices monolithically integrated on Si. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

Sciunnach D.,Regione Lombardia | Garzanti E.,University of Milan Bicocca
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2012

This article reconstructs the evolution of the passive northern margin of peninsular India facing the Neotethys, from the earliest rifting stages in the Carboniferous to final collision with the active southern margin of Asia in the Early Eocene. Classical techniques of basin analysis were applied to an extensive and coherent stratigraphic data base. Facies analysis, biostratigraphic dating, and palaeoenvironmental interpretation of an over 10. km-thick sedimentary succession from eight main composite sections allowed us to draw accurate sedimentation and backstripped subsidence curves, and to place quantitative constraints on the palaeotectonic scenario inferred from the sedimentary record. In each of the investigated composite sections, three major stratigraphic gaps are consistently recognised in the rift sequence: the "rift unconformity" (Mississippian), the "Carboniferous/Permian hiatus" (largely Kasimovian to Asselian), and the "break-up unconformity" (mid-Sakmarian). Two or even all three gaps may merge into a single hiatus, spanning up to 70. Ma overall. Gaps are associated with rift-shoulder uplift, which after calculation of backstripped subsidence sums up to 600. m at least in three of the investigated sections. Thermal subsidence and low sedimentation rates are documented by the mid-Permian to Middle Triassic drift sequence, deposited while the Neotethys was expanding between northern Gondwana and the detached Peri-Gondwanan blocks. A marked increase in accumulation rates is recorded in the Carnian-Norian, but calculations of uniform lithospheric stretching suggest that extension was minor and associated with tectonic processes affecting distant parts of Gondwana. The Tethys Himalayan margin was uplifted around the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary, at the onset of a major volcanic episode. Finally, uplift exceeding in magnitude all previous events is documented by the uppermost units of the stratigraphic column, deposited during the earliest stages of collision between India and Asia in the latest Paleocene to Early Eocene. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Brardinoni F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Church M.,University of British Columbia | Simoni A.,University of Bologna | Macconi P.,Ripartizione Opere Idrauliche
Geology | Year: 2012

Debris flow is an efficient process of sediment transfer from slope base to piedmont depositional fans in mountain drainage basins. To advance understanding of debris-flow sediment dynamics at the regional scale, we analyze a historical (1998-2009) database of debris flows from 77 basins of Alto Adige Province, northeastern Italy. By combining information on event volumetric deposition, high-resolution digital topography, and Quaternary sediment mapping we are able to link debris-flow sediment flux to morphometry, lithologic variability, and sediment availability. We show that basin-wide specific sediment yield (SSY) scales as an inverse power function of basin area. This function is strongly controlled by the way rock type and abundance of Quaternary deposits affect the rate of downstream sediment recruitment. When sediment flux associated with each debris-flow event is subsumed across discrete spatial increments of the entire region, a complex sedimentary signature in the area-SSY space is apparent. That is, SSY increases downstream up to areas as large as 1 km2, and starts to decline beyond this scale, regardless of sediment availability. We propose that this area-SSY relation is characteristic of debris flow-dominated settings. © 2012 Geological Society of America.

Rambaldi A.,Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit | Biagi E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bonini C.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Biondi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Introna M.,Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
Leukemia | Year: 2015

When treatment fails, the clinical outcome of acute leukemia patients is usually very poor, particularly when failure occurs after transplantation. A second allogeneic stem cell transplant could be envisaged as an effective and feasible salvage option in younger patients having a late relapse and an available donor. Unmanipulated or minimally manipulated donor T cells may also be effective in a minority of patients but the main limit remains the induction of severe graft-versus-host disease. This clinical complication has brought about a huge research effort that led to the development of leukemia-specific T-cell therapy aiming at the direct recognition of leukemia-specific rather than minor histocompatibility antigens. Despite a great scientific interest, the clinical feasibility of such an approach has proven to be quite problematic. To overcome this limitation, more research has moved toward the choice of targeting commonly expressed hematopoietic specific antigens by the genetic modification of unselected T cells. The best example of this is represented by the anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CD19.CAR) T cells. As a possible alternative to the genetic manipulation of unselected T cells, specific T-cell subpopulations with in vivo favorable homing and long-term survival properties have been genetically modified by CAR molecules. Finally, the use of naturally cytotoxic effector cells such as natural killer and cytokine-induced killer cells has been proposed in several clinical trials. The clinical development of these latter cells could also be further expanded by additional genetic modifications using the CAR technology. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Fasoli M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Vedda A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mihokova E.,ASCR Institute of Physics Prague | Nikl M.,ASCR Institute of Physics Prague
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2012

We improve a recently proposed approach for the evaluation of the thermal ionization barrier of the lanthanide excited states in luminescent materials by taking into account the effect of traps and their decay time temperature dependence. We present two distinct methods, and we apply them to the case of Lu 2Si 2O 7:Pr. To this purpose, wavelength resolved thermally stimulated luminescence and photoluminescence time decay measurements extending up to the ms time scale have been performed. In the frame of the first method, the thermal ionization barrier of the Pr3 + 5d 1 excited state has been evaluated by studying the progressive filling of traps during illumination by ultraviolet light within the 4f-5d 1 absorption band of Pr3 + at different temperatures. The thermal ionization barrier turned out to be 0.54 ± 0.05 eV. In the second approach this parameter has been calculated by a numerical reconstruction of the temperature dependence of the 5d 1-4f delayed recombination decay integral in two different time windows ([53.3 μs - 10.3 ms] and [53.3 μs - 600 s]) with the sum of contributions from different traps whose parameters have been investigated by thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL). The results obtained are in agreement with those found using the trap-filling method. The advantages and limits of both approaches have been critically exposed, in order to discuss the possibility of their extensive employment for the determination of the ionization barrier of a rare earth ion excited-state level in an insulating host. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Colace F.,University of Salerno | De Santo M.,University of Salerno | Greco L.,University of Salerno | Napoletano P.,University of Milan Bicocca
Computers in Human Behavior | Year: 2014

Supervised text classifiers need to learn from many labeled examples to achieve a high accuracy. However, in a real context, sufficient labeled examples are not always available because human labeling is enormously time-consuming. For this reason, there has been recent interest in methods that are capable of obtaining a high accuracy when the size of the training set is small. In this paper we introduce a new single label text classification method that performs better than baseline methods when the number of labeled examples is small. Differently from most of the existing methods that usually make use of a vector of features composed of weighted words, the proposed approach uses a structured vector of features, composed of weighted pairs of words. The proposed vector of features is automatically learned, given a set of documents, using a global method for term extraction based on the Latent Dirichlet Allocation implemented as the Probabilistic Topic Model. Experiments performed using a small percentage of the original training set (about 1%) confirmed our theories. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Barutello V.,University of Turin | Terracini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Verzini G.,Polytechnic of Milan
Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis | Year: 2013

We continue the variational approach to parabolic trajectories introduced in our previous paper (Barutello et al., Entire parabolic trajectories as minimal phase transitions. arXiv:1105. 3358v1, 2011), which sees parabolic orbits as minimal phase transitions. We deepen and complete the analysis in the planar case for homogeneous singular potentials. We characterize all parabolic orbits connecting two minimal central configurations as free-time Morse minimizers (in a given homotopy class of paths). These may occur for at most one value of the homogeneity exponent. In addition, we link this threshold of existence of parabolic trajectories with the absence of collisions for all the minimizers of fixed-end problems, and also with the existence of action minimizing periodic trajectories with nontrivial homotopy type. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Soave N.,University of Milan Bicocca | Soave N.,University of Picardie Jules Verne | Zilio A.,Polytechnic of Milan
Nonlinearity | Year: 2014

We prove the existence of entire solutions with exponential growth for the semilinear elliptic system {-Δu = -uv2 in ℝN, -Δv = -u2v in ℝN,u,u > 0, for every N ≥ 2. Our construction is based on an approximation procedure, whose convergence is ensured by suitable Almgren-type monotonicity formulae. The construction of the resulting solutions is extended to systems with k components, for every k ≥ 2; in this case, the proof is much more involved and is achieved by approximation of solutions with exponential growth by means of solutions with algebraic growth of increasing degree, translating the limit lim d→+∞ [(1+z/d)]= ex sin y in the present setting. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd & London Mathematical Society.

Bona S.,Aalto University | Bona S.,University of Helsinki | Cattaneo Z.,University of Milan Bicocca | Cattaneo Z.,Connectivity | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Symmetry is an important cue in face and object perception. Here we used fMRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to shed light on the role of the occipital face area (OFA), a key region in face processing, and the lateral occipital (LO) cortex, a key area in object processing, in symmetry detection. In the first experiment, we applied TMS over the rightOFA, its left homolog (leftOFA), rightLO, and vertex (baseline) while participants were discriminating between symmetric and asymmetric dot patterns. Stimulation of rightOFA and rightLO impaired performance, causally implicating these two regions in detection of symmetry in low-level dot configurations.TMSover rightLO but not rightOFA also significantly impaired detection of nonsymmetric shapes defined by collinear Gabor patches, demonstrating that rightOFA responds to symmetry but not to all cues mediating figure-ground segregation. The second experiment showed a causal role for rightOFA but not rightLO in facial symmetry detection. Overall, our results demonstrate that both the rightOFA and rightLO are sensitive to symmetry in dot patterns, whereas only rightOFA is causally involved in facial symmetry detection. © 2015 the authors.

Cunha C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Cunha C.,Center for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering | Brambilla R.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Thomas K.L.,University of Cardiff
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience | Year: 2010

Since its discovery almost three decades ago, the secreted neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been firmly implicated in the differentiation and survival of neurons of the CNS. More recently, BDNF has also emerged as an important regulator of synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity mechanisms underlying learning and memory in the adult CNS. In this review we will discuss our knowledge about the multiple intracellular signaling pathways activated by BDNF, and the role of this neurotrophin in long-term synaptic plasticity and memory formation as well as in synaptogenesis. We will show that maturation of BDNF, its cellular localization and its ability to regulate both excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the CNS may result in confl icting alterations in synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Lack of a precise knowledge about the mechanisms by which BDNF infl uences higher cognitive functions and complex behaviours may constitute a severe limitation in the possibility to devise BDNF-based therapeutics for human disorders of the CNS. © 2010 Cunha, Brambilla and Thomas.

Cremades N.,University of Cambridge | Cohen S.I.A.,University of Cambridge | Deas E.,University College London | Abramov A.Y.,University College London | And 14 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2012

Here, we use single-molecule techniques to study the aggregation of α-synuclein, the protein whose misfolding and deposition is associated with Parkinson's disease. We identify a conformational change from the initially formed oligomers to stable, more compact proteinase-K-resistant oligomers as the key step that leads ultimately to fibril formation. The oligomers formed as a result of the structural conversion generate much higher levels of oxidative stress in rat primary neurons than do the oligomers formed initially, showing that they are more damaging to cells. The structural conversion is remarkably slow, indicating a high kinetic barrier for the conversion and suggesting that there is a significant period of time for the cellular protective machinery to operate and potentially for therapeutic intervention, prior to the onset of cellular damage. In the absence of added soluble protein, the assembly process is reversed and fibrils disaggregate to form stable oligomers, hence acting as a source of cytotoxic species. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Ciantia M.O.,Universidad Politécnica de Ingeniería | Castellanza R.,University of Milan Bicocca | di Prisco C.,Polytechnic of Milan
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering | Year: 2014

Carbonatic rocks, such as calcarenites, are very often subject to damage processes, causing a progressive degradation of their mechanical properties. In nature, in some cases, this phenomenon can cause the collapse of cliffs and underground cavities, with dangerous consequences for the anthropic environment. In this paper, the results of an experimental campaign, intended to both clarify and quantify the mechanical consequences of this process, are illustrated. To achieve such a goal, suitable physical and geotechnical indices are introduced and different time scales to describe the physical/chemical reactions induced by the water saturation of the material are taken into consideration. In particular, the authors have observed: (1) a short-term marked and instantaneous reduction in strength when water fills the pores of the rock; (2) a long-term dissolution; and (3) a progressive chemically induced reduction in the grain size. To describe the degradation processes induced by the material water saturation, owing to the complexity of the hydro-chemo-mechanical phenomena taking place within the material, suitably designed tests under controlled “weathering” conditions were also performed and discussed. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Wien.

Bertacchi D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zucca F.,Polytechnic of Milan
Journal of Statistical Physics | Year: 2013

The aim of this paper is to study rumor processes in random environment. In a rumor process a signal starts from the stations of a fixed vertex (the root) and travels on a graph from vertex to vertex. We consider two rumor processes. In the firework process each station, when reached by the signal, transmits it up to a random distance. In the reverse firework process, on the other hand, stations do not send any signal but they "listen" for it up to a random distance. The first random environment that we consider is the deterministic 1-dimensional tree ℕ with a random number of stations on each vertex; in this case the root is the origin of ℕ. We give conditions for the survival/extinction on almost every realization of the sequence of stations. Later on, we study the processes on Galton-Watson trees with random number of stations on each vertex. We show that if the probability of survival is positive, then there is survival on almost every realization of the infinite tree such that there is at least one station at the root. We characterize the survival of the process in some cases and we give sufficient conditions for survival/extinction. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Blahut J.,University of Milan Bicocca | Blahut J.,CNR Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes | van Westen C.J.,International Institute for Geo Information Science and Earth Observation | Sterlacchini S.,CNR Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes
Geomorphology | Year: 2010

For the generation of susceptibility maps on medium scales (1:25,000 to 1:50,000) using statistical techniques, a reliable landslide inventory is needed, together with factor maps used as inputs. This paper compares landslide susceptibility maps obtained with the same methodology but using different landslide inventories: the official Italian landslide inventory GeoIFFI for the Lombardy Region and a recently mapped inventory (DF2001). The analysis included four main steps: (i) preparation of debris flow inventories using both random and spatial partitions and factor maps as explanatory variables; (ii) calculation of accountability and reliability indices for a preliminary susceptibility analysis and selection of an appropriate combination of the factor maps for detailed analysis; (iii) evaluation and validation of the obtained susceptibility maps; and (iv) comparison of the results and selection of the final map. The study area is located in the Valtellina Valley in the Central Italian Alps. The analysis identified highly susceptible areas of shallow landslides that may generate debris flows. It was demonstrated that more precisely delimited source areas for landslide-induced debris flows produce better susceptibility maps. However, the improvement of these maps was relatively limited when the inventories were randomly subdivided. Higher improvements were observed after the subdivision of the inventories into three geographical parts with different geomorphological characteristics. Although the modelling showed very similar results if evaluation is made using standard techniques, the spatial pattern of the susceptibility maps was highly variable and dependent on the combination of the factor maps used. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Etacheri V.,Purdue University | Etacheri V.,Dublin Institute of Technology | Di Valentin C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Schneider J.,Leibniz University of Hanover | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology C: Photochemistry Reviews | Year: 2015

The remarkable achievement by Fujishima and Honda (1972) in the photo-electrochemical water splitting results in the extensive use of TiO2 nanomaterials for environmental purification and energy storage/conversion applications. Though there are many advantages for the TiO2 compared to other semiconductor photocatalysts, its band gap of 3.2eV restrains application to the UV-region of the electromagnetic spectrum (λ≤387.5nm). As a result, development of visible-light active titanium dioxide is one of the key challenges in the field of semiconductor photocatalysis. In this review, advances in the strategies for the visible light activation, origin of visible-light activity, and electronic structure of various visible-light active TiO2 photocatalysts are discussed in detail. It has also been shown that if appropriate models are used, the theoretical insights can successfully be employed to develop novel catalysts to enhance the photocatalytic performance in the visible region. Recent developments in theory and experiments in visible-light induced water splitting, degradation of environmental pollutants, water and air purification and antibacterial applications are also reviewed. Various strategies to identify appropriate dopants for improved visible-light absorption and electron-hole separation to enhance the photocatalytic activity are discussed in detail, and a number of recommendations are also presented. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Tadic M.,University of Belgrade | Cuspidi C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Clinical Cardiology | Year: 2015

The influence of type 2 diabetes mellitus on cardiac remodeling has been evaluated for decades; however, the majority of investigations were focused only on the left ventricle. The impact of diabetes on the left atrial (LA) function is less researched. LA enlargement has been shown as an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the general and diabetic population; however, LA dysfunction has been proven to be an independent predictor only in the general population. There are not much follow-up data about the influence of diabetes on LA function. New echocardiographic techniques, such as 2-dimensional speckle tracking imaging, providemore accurate, sensitive, and reliable information about LA function than traditional, volumetric methods. The aim of this review was to summarize the most recent reports about the influence of diabetes on LA function, as well as to discuss the possible mechanisms and potential clinical implications of the relationship between diabetes and LA remodeling. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Colombo M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mazzucchelli S.,University of Milan | Montenegro J.M.,University of Marburg | Galbiati E.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 3 more authors.
Small | Year: 2012

A bimodular genetic fusion comprising a delivery module (scFv) and a capture module (SNAP) is proposed as a novel strategy for the site-specific covalent conjugation of targeting peptides to nanoparticles. An scFv mutant selective for HER2 tumor antigen is chosen as the targeting ligand. SNAP-scFv is immobilized on magnetofluorescent nanoparticles and its targeting efficiency against HER2-positive cells is assessed by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Potter N.E.,Institute of Cancer Research | Ermini L.,Institute of Cancer Research | Papaemmanuil E.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Cazzaniga G.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 6 more authors.
Genome Research | Year: 2013

The development of cancer is a dynamic evolutionary process in which intraclonal, genetic diversity provides a substrate for clonal selection and a source of therapeutic escape. The complexity and topography of intraclonal genetic architectures have major implications for biopsy-based prognosis and for targeted therapy. High-depth, next-generation sequencing (NGS) efficiently captures the mutational load of individual tumors or biopsies. But, being a snapshot portrait of total DNA, it disguises the fundamental features of subclonal variegation of genetic lesions and of clonal phylogeny. Single-cell genetic profiling provides a potential resolution to this problem, but methods developed to date all have limitations. We present a novel solution to this challenge using leukemic cells with known mutational spectra as a tractable model. DNA from flow-sorted single cells is screened using multiplex targeted Q-PCR within a microfluidic platform allowing unbiased single-cell selection, high-throughput, and comprehensive analysis for all main varieties of genetic abnormalities: chimeric gene fusions, copy number alterations, and single-nucleotide variants. We show, in this proof-ofprinciple study, that the method has a low error rate and can provide detailed subclonal genetic architectures and phylogenies. © 2013 Potter et al.

Revello M.G.,Fondazione Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Irccs Policlinico San Matteo | Lazzarotto T.,University of Bologna | Guerra B.,University of Bologna | Spinillo A.,Fondazione Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Irccs Policlinico San Matteo | And 13 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Congenital infection with human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In an uncontrolled study published in 2005, administration of CMV-specific hyperimmune globulin to pregnant women with primary CMV infection significantly reduced the rate of intrauterine transmission, from 40% to 16%. METHODS: We evaluated the efficacy of hyperimmune globulin in a phase 2, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. A total of 124 pregnant women with primary CMV infection at 5 to 26 weeks of gestation were randomly assigned within 6 weeks after the presumed onset of infection to receive hyperimmune globulin or placebo every 4 weeks until 36 weeks of gestation or until detection of CMV in amniotic fluid. The primary end point was congenital infection diagnosed at birth or by means of amniocentesis. RESULTS: A total of 123 women could be evaluated in the efficacy analysis (1 woman in the placebo group withdrew). The rate of congenital infection was 30% (18 fetuses or infants of 61 women) in the hyperimmune globulin group and 44% (27 fetuses or infants of 62 women) in the placebo group (a difference of 14 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, -3 to 31; P = 0.13). There was no significant difference between the two groups or, within each group, between the women who transmitted the virus and those who did not, with respect to levels of virus-specific antibodies, T-cell-mediated immune response, or viral DNA in the blood. The clinical outcome of congenital infection at birth was similar in the two groups. The number of obstetrical adverse events was higher in the hyperimmune globulin group than in the placebo group (13% vs. 2%). CONCLUSIONS: In this study involving 123 women who could be evaluated, treatment with hyperimmune globulin did not significantly modify the course of primary CMV infection during pregnancy. Copyright © 2014 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Colombo M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Carregal-Romero S.,University of Marburg | Casula M.F.,University of Cagliari | Gutierrez L.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science | And 6 more authors.
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

In this review an overview about biological applications of magnetic colloidal nanoparticles will be given, which comprises their synthesis, characterization, and in vitro and in vivo applications. The potential future role of magnetic nanoparticles compared to other functional nanoparticles will be discussed by highlighting the possibility of integration with other nanostructures and with existing biotechnology as well as by pointing out the specific properties of magnetic colloids. Current limitations in the fabrication process and issues related with the outcome of the particles in the body will be also pointed out in order to address the remaining challenges for an extended application of magnetic nanoparticles in medicine. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.6.3 | Award Amount: 3.13M | Year: 2008

The main goal of the LENVIS project is to develop an innovative collaborative decision support network for exchange of location-based environmental and health services between all stakeholders, for enhanced capacity to assess population exposure and health risks and better management of the concerned ecosystems. LENVIS will include health indicators as integral part of the environmental management.There is a growing demand for real time and integrated environmental and health risk information. Provision of such location-based services linked to the state of the environment at particular geographical locations (addresses) is necessary for improving the quality of life of all people. This is essential for mitigation of environmental-related health threats associated to water quantity and quality, and outdoor air pollutions.LENVIS project aims to fill the existing gap between environmental management and the health management systems. This will be done by developing a generic ICT solution that combines service-oriented-architecture (SOA) and user-centric approach (peer-to-peer network, P2P) by fusion of location-based environmental and health data, information and modelling services. This novel collaborative peer-to-peer network, as an integral part of the Single Information Space for the Environment in Europe, will be validated through test cases on fresh surface water and outdoor air quality in the Netherlands, Portugal and Italy.LENVIS project will facilitate collaboration between different stakeholders, such as environmental protection agencies, health institutions and service providers, policy makers, citizens in general and environmental communities in Europe.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-35-2016 | Award Amount: 532.88K | Year: 2017

In this project, we propose an in-depth empirical investigation of privacy in the sharing economy. We will investigate three challenges in particular: privacy, participation/exclusion and power. First, sharing services come with compounded privacy risks extending beyond the informational into the physical realm. In addition, online sharing services entail both institutional and social privacy threats. Second, sharing services might exclude certain population segments and increase social inequality by systematically disadvantaging and discriminating against underprivileged groups (those living in remote areas, unemployed, impoverished disabled, disconnected, elderly) and favoring privileged individuals. Third and finally, sharing services may disempower users by detaching them from their possessions, by relying on opaque algorithms and creating new forms of distinction such as aruch as arbitrary rating systems, where manipulation is easy and possibilities to challenge the ratings are limited. We research the topic from a multi-disciplinary social science perspective and include a variety of methodological approaches as well as research contexts with our collaboration partners. To quantify these findings, we follow up with quantitative surveys that give us solid evidence on how power, privacy and participation are at play with sharing. By aggregating our findings in design principles for sharing platforms we intend to bring the design of sharing platforms to a new level of maturity by support the user centered, responsible and fair design of sharing platforms.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-NIGHT | Award Amount: 198.95K | Year: 2012

In the context of one of the most powerful and rich economic areas of Europe, Milan and Lombardy Region, MEETmeTONIGHT was born as an initiative of Politecnico di Milano together with the main city universities and for the first time is extended to the entire Regional territory. The project will involve 3 full partners and, as associated partners, a long and various list of public and private entities (all main Milan universities, Lombardy Region Government, Province of Milan, Municipality of Milan, foundations, associations and media partners). The concept of the overall project is to enhance the awareness among the citizens that universities, science and research represent nowadays the future of the whole society and its main actors, that is to say the Researchers, will impact with their job on competitiveness, economic growth, employment, environmental protection and in general on citizens daily life. Therefore it aims at: a) showing to common people the normality of the daily Researchers life; b) amplifying the social image of Researchers; c) opening up consciousness about the importance of a scientific career in the local, national and European context; d) launching the first Lombardy Researchers Night as a distinctive date to be attended every year, so to foster the liaison between Researchers and citizens. The practical aim of the project is to organise an outstanding evening where people will have the opportunity to meet and know the Researchers directly. MEETmeTONIGHT wants to communicate the message: Researchers are people like you! Meet me and see what I do everyday. The central locations of the event (in the Milan city centre) will encourage the involvement of a large number of people. Simultaneously on all Lombardy campuses of the University partners and on locations of associated partners (Como, Lecco, Ispra, Brescia, Mantova, Cremona, Pavia, Lodi) satellite events will take place.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.27M | Year: 2011

In hematopoiesis, failure to maintain homeostasis and regenerative functions result in a multitude of hematological malignancies, including myelodysplastic syndromes, lymphomas and leukemias, that represent a medical challenge and a large socioeconomic burden because of the large number of affected patients of all age groups. Although hierarchical organization of the hematopoietic system has been well defined in the last years, the precise molecular circuits governing the balance between proliferation/commitment/specification and how these are corrupted in disease are largely unknown. The focus of Hem-ID is a highly integrated approach to study the functional interactions between the genetic regulatory circuits orchestrated by transcription factors TFs-, (that direct the progressive cell type specification) and epigenetic mechanisms (that establish the cellular memory that fixes cell fate decisions during differentiation) in physiological hematopoiesis and in leukemia with the final goal of formulating novel diagnostic/prognostic markers and therapeutic approaches in treating leukemias. HEM_ID will: -Decipher Modular Networks assembled by master TFs controlling hematopoietic self renewal and differentiation and the molecular dynamics of TFs/DNA interactions by unique biophysical approache -Identify epigenetic modifiers (new relevant loci, -epiQTLs, DNAmethylation, Polycomb dependent-gene silencing, miRNA and long non coding RNAs) involved in the pathogenesis of leukemias. The strength of Hem-ID ITN lies in the high quality multidisciplinary -but strictly integrated- expertise and technological platforms covering the complete pathway from basic research to its clinical exploitation- contributed from both public Institutions and Private sector and made available to Hem-ID Fellows. Besides research, an integrated training program of scientific and complementary activities will be offered to HEM-ID Fellows that will complement and strengthen their career development.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2 | Award Amount: 2.64M | Year: 2010

In December 2007, the European Commission imposed a total of 247 635 000 fines on the five largest manufacturers of chloroprene rubber for participating in a cartel. As a result of this price fixing and market abuse by large enterprises, the SME involvement in this sector has diminished and requires research investment to re-build its presence. Additionally there is increasing pressure to replace the vulcanisation accelerator, ethylene thiourea (ETU), due to its assessment as a Cat 2 rep carcinogen as per the EU classification, IARC and EPA. It is believed that under REACH it will be classified as a CMR substance (Carcinogenic/Mutagenic/toxic for Reproduction) which will lead to legislation prohibiting or banning its use. The SafeRubber project aims to develop a safer alternative accelerator to replace the carcinogenic ethylene thiourea (ETU) based accelerators to be used in the manufacturing of rubbers such as polychloroprene (CR) and epichlorohydrin (ECO). This will be based around a new catalyst molecule that has tri-functionality, which offers the added benefit of reducing consumption of metal oxides during manufacturing, lowering manufacturing costs and giving SMEs another unique differentiator, allowing them to compete in the market.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2013.2.2-4 | Award Amount: 4.82M | Year: 2013

This proposal selects a series of relevant examples of power microgeneration and storage (thermoelectric generators, vibrational harvesters and microstructrured batteries) and pushes them further into their development and performance maturity. With that goal in mind the emphasis is put on the materials themselves and their integration route into a technology able to bring the eventual solutions closer to an exploitable phase. For this reason we consider novel silicon technology compatible materials as our starting point. The combination of those materials with device-making silicon micro and nanotechnologies is especially well positioned to make breakthrough developments in the microdomain regarding energy harvesting and storage. This approach enables (a) nanostructuration of the materials themselves, (b) dense device architectures by means of 3D high aspect ratio microstructures -which increase the resulting energy density, and (c) open the path for miniaturized complete systems through the compact assembly of the different elements involved (e.g. harvesters, batteries, power control electronics, devices to be powered) by means of hybrid or monolithic integration strategies. Wafer level processes will be favored to assure an easier transferability of the results to a fabrication stage. The high density architectures and system manufacturability provided by silicon micro and nanotechnologies endorse the use of silicon friendly materials even when their intrinsic properties may lag behind other technologically exotic material alternatives. Two application scenarios, engine/machinery fault prevention and tire pressure monitoring systems, relying on self-powered wireless sensor networks, have been chosen as frame of reference for our microenergy developments since they offer different harvesting opportunities (vibrations and waste heat) and realistic and long term scenarios to work on.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.3.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.29M | Year: 2014

In line with the EU strategies for 2020 and the need for a systemic and integrated approach to Early Childhood education and Care (ECEC), the project identifies eight key issues and questions for which effective policy measures and instruments should be developed. They concern assessing the impact of ECEC, optimizing quality and curricula for ECEC to increase effectiveness, raising the professional competencies of staff, monitoring and assuring quality of ECEC, increasing the inclusiveness of ECEC, in particular for socioeconomically disadvantaged children, funding of ECEC, and the need for innovative European indicators of childrens wellbeing. The project will address these issues in an integrative way by combining state-of-the-art knowledge of factors determining personal, social and economic benefits of ECEC with knowledge of the mechanisms determining access to and use of ECEC. In developing a European knowledge base for ECEC, we will add to the existing knowledge in two ways. First, we will include recent and ongoing ECEC research from several European countries. Second, we will include the perspectives of important stakeholders and integrate cultural beliefs and values. The central aim is to develop an evidence-based and culture-sensitive framework of (a) Developmental goals, quality assessment, curriculum approaches and policy measures for improving the quality and effectiveness of ECEC; and (b) Effective strategies of organizing, funding and governing ECEC that increase the impact of ECEC. Our interdisciplinary research team will construct this framework, based on the competencies and skills that young children need to develop in current societies, identify the conditions that have to be fulfilled to promote child development and wellbeing, and identify strategies and policy measures that support access to high quality provisions, and likely to receive broad support of stakeholders, thereby enhancing the impact of ECEC.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2010.10.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.18M | Year: 2010

Electricity can be generated by mixing salt water and fresh water in a controlled way. Salt water can be sea water and fresh water can be river water, so this technology can be used wherever a river flows into the sea. CAPMIX stands for capacitive mixing and is a new way of harvesting this potential power. The principal advantage of this technology is that the electricity generation is directly linked to the mixing process, no additional intermediate conversions are necessary. There is thus no need for expensive complex converters like turbines or electrodes. This makes that this type of holds the greatest promise of becoming an economical and environmental benign renewable energy plant.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 2.79M | Year: 2013

iMODE-CKD integrates multi-disciplinary expertise in proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, bioinformatics, pathology, and clinical science from leading academic and industrial investigators, establishing a unique training platform on biomarker research and Systems Biology. Special emphasis is placed on the application of a wide range of omics and bioinformatics techniques to clinical research. This educational scope is placed in the context of a significant research objective: to improve quality of life of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diminish the severe health and economic burden imposed by this disease, by providing better diagnostic and prognostic means. Established CKD has been selected based on the accumulation of existing molecular data, and complementarity to active European programs focusing on early stage CKD in the context of diabetes and hypertension, in which participants of the consortium are actively involved. The main objectives of iMODE-CKD are: - Training young scientists to become the next generation of true translational multidisciplinary researchers exploiting multiple -omics technologies to their full extent. - Training young scientists in Systems Biology approaches to decipher molecular pathology and understanding clinical phenotypes. - Identifying and validating molecules involved in progression of renal complications trough clinical omics in established CKD. - Understanding the molecular determinants of established CKD through integrative Systems Biology. iMODE-CKD provides the opportunity to train young researchers not only in the different fields of -omics research, but also in -omics data evaluation, combining of datasets from different -omics traits, and exploiting both, data and literature, to enable the generation of in silico models of the molecular pathology of specific diseases. Such approaches will also enable development of new and specific drugs; and pave the road towards stratified/personalized medicine.

Polytechnic of Milan and University of Milan Bicocca | Date: 2010-11-30

A method for producing, by means of plasma, nanostructured thin layers particularly of the hierarchically organized type, and an apparatus for implementing the method, are described. At least a first chamber (10) is provide in which are present an injector (14) of a reagent gas, means (31, 31) for feeding inert gases, and an antenna (16) for the creation of a plasma in said first chamber. Enclosing said first chamber is a second chamber (11) to which a pumping system is connected, containing a housing for the substrate (35) on which the nanostructured film is produced. A wall (12) separates said first chamber from said second chamber and has at least one opening (13). The injector and antenna are arranged in the first chamber with a geometry such that the distance between the outlet of said injector is at a distance of no more than 5 cm from the plane of the surface of said antenna farther from said wall, and said surface is at a distance of no more than 5 cm from said opening.

Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mark A.,University of Iowa | Esler M.,Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
Circulation Research | Year: 2015

Several articles have dealt with the importance and mechanisms of the sympathetic nervous system alterations in experimental animal models of hypertension. This review addresses the role of the sympathetic nervous system in the pathophysiology and therapy of human hypertension. We first discuss the strengths and limitations of various techniques for assessing the sympathetic nervous system in humans, with a focus on heart rate, plasma norepinephrine, microneurographic recording of sympathetic nerve traffic, and measurements of radiolabeled norepinephrine spillover. We then examine the evidence supporting the importance of neuroadrenergic factors as promoters and amplifiers of human hypertension. We expand on the role of the sympathetic nervous system in 2 increasingly common forms of secondary hypertension, namely hypertension associated with obesity and with renal disease. With this background, we examine interventions of sympathetic deactivation as a mode of antihypertensive treatment. Particular emphasis is given to the background and results of recent therapeutic approaches based on carotid baroreceptor stimulation and radiofrequency ablation of the renal nerves. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.

Frezzotti M.L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ferrando S.,University of Turin
American Mineralogist | Year: 2015

This review combines fluid inclusion data from (HP-)UHP rocks with experimental research and thermodynamic models to investigate the chemical and physical properties of fluids released during deep subduction, their solvent and element transport capacity, and the subsequent implications for the element recycling in the mantle wedge. An impressive number of fluid inclusion studies indicate three main populations of fluid inclusions in HP and UHP metamorphic rocks: (1) aqueous and/or non-polar gaseous fluid inclusions (FI); (2) multiphase solid inclusions (MSI); and (3) melt inclusions (MI). Chemical data from preserved fluid inclusions in rocks match with and implement "model" fluids by experiments and thermodynamics, revealing a continuity behind the extreme variations of physico-chemical properties of subduction-zone fluids. From fore-Arc to sub-Arc depths, fluids released by progressive devolatilization reactions from slab lithologies change from relatively diluted chloridebearing aqueous solutions (±N2), mainly influenced by halide ligands, to (alkali) aluminosilicate-rich aqueous fluids, in which polymerization probably governs the solubility and transport of major (e.g., Si and Al) and trace elements (including C). Fluid inclusion studies point to a reconsideration of the petrological models explaining deep volatile liberation, and their flux into the mantle wedge. © 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston 2015.

Oleari C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Reina L.,Florida State University
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We present an implementation of the next-to-leading order hadronic production of a W± boson in association with a pair of massive bottom quarks in the framework of POWHEG, a method to consistently interface NLO QCD calculations with shower Monte Carlo generators. The process has been implemented using the POWHEG BOX, an automated computer code that systematically applies the POWHEG method to NLO QCD calculations. Spin correlations in the decay of the W± boson into leptons have been taken into account using standard approximated techniques. We present phenomenological results for Wbb̄ → lνbb̄ production, at both the Tevatron and the LHC, obtained by showering the POWHEG results with PYTHIA and HERWIG, and we discuss the outputs of the two different shower Monte Carlo programs. © 2011 SISSA.

Di Valentin C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Costa D.,École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2012

We report on a DFT study of the adsorption of n-butylphosphonic acid [CH 3(CH 2) 3PO(OH) 2] on the anatase (101) TiO 2 model surface. The pure GGA (PBE and rPBE) approach is compared to a hybrid functional (B3LYP). Dispersion forces are taken into account in the Grimme framework correcting both energies and gradients. The surface coverage is varied from 0.25 ML (one phosphonic unit every four surface Ti 5c) to 1 ML (one phosphonic unit/Ti 5c). The overall picture resulting from these three approaches is qualitatively the same, although quantitative details are different. At low coverage, the alkylphosphonic acid adsorbs in a monodissociated bidentate mode, forming two P=O-Ti 5c bonds with one additional OH-O s bond, where Ti 5c and O s refer to surface titanium and oxygen atoms. At full coverage, the molecules adsorb in a monodentate mode and reorient in order to minimize lateral repulsion and maximize H-bonds. The contribution of dispersion forces to the adsorption energy increases with the coverage. The 0.75 and 1 ML coverages, which are the most favored, correspond nicely to the reported experimental coverages. The results suggest that for entropic reasons the surface could be rather disordered, with coexisting domains of different coverages 0.75 and 1 ML. No additional states in the band gap of the semiconductors are formed for this hybrid organic-inorganic system. The workfunction decreases by 0.7 eV when a full self-assembled monolayer is supported on the surface. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Destri C.,University of Milan Bicocca | De Vega H.J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | De Vega H.J.,Paris Observatory | Sanchez N.G.,Paris Observatory
Astroparticle Physics | Year: 2013

Quantum mechanics is necessary to compute galaxy structures at kpc scales and below. This is so because near the galaxy center, at scales below 10-100 pc, warm dark matter (WDM) quantum effects are important: observations show that the interparticle distance is of the order of, or smaller than the de Broglie wavelength for WDM. This explains why all classical (non-quantum) WDM N-body simulations fail to explain galactic cores and their sizes. We describe fermionic WDM galaxies in an analytic semiclassical framework based on the Thomas-Fermi approach, we resolve it numerically and find the main physical galaxy magnitudes: mass, halo radius, phase-space density, velocity dispersion, fully consistent with observations, including compact dwarf galaxies. Namely, fermionic WDM treated quantum mechanically, as it must be, reproduces the observed galaxy DM cores and their sizes. [In addition, as is known, WDM simulations produce the right DM structures in agreement with observations for scales ≳ kpc]. We show that compact dwarf galaxies are natural quantum macroscopic objects supported against gravity by the fermionic WDM quantum pressure (quantum degenerate fermions) with a minimal galaxy mass and minimal velocity dispersion. Interestingly enough, the minimal galaxy mass implies a minimal mass mmin for the WDM particle. The lightest known dwarf galaxy (Willman I) implies m>mmin=1.91 keV. These results and the observed halo radius and mass of the compact galaxies provide further indication that the WDM particle mass m is approximately around 2 keV. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Riva G.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Riva G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Mantovani F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Interacting with Computers | Year: 2012

Different neuropsychological studies clearly show that the perception of our body and its surrounding space is not a given fact but it is influenced by the outcome of our actions (both direct and mediated by the use of tools). In this view, a possible starting point for a better understanding of Presence in computer-mediated interactions is the study of mediated action and its effects on our spatial experience. Following a cognitive perspective, the presented framework describes Presence as an intuitive feeling which is the outcome of an experience-based metacognitive judgment that controls our action. This process monitors pre-reflexively our activity by using an embodied intuitive simulation of the intended action developed through practice (implicit learning). When actions are implemented using one or more tools, it is possible to distinguish between two different types of mediated action: first-order (I use the body to control a proximal artifact, e.g. a tennis player striking the ball with the racquet) or second-order (I use the body to control a proximal artifact that controls a different distal one, e.g. a cranemen using a lever to move a mechanical boom to lift materials). These two mediated actions, when produced intuitively, have different effects on our experience of body and space: a successfully learned first-order mediated action produces incorporation - the proximal tool extends the peripersonal space of the subject - while a successfully learned second-order mediated action produces also incarnation - a second peripersonal space centered on the distal tool. © 2012 British Informatics Society Limited. All rights reserved.

Lovaglio P.G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Monzani E.,Niguarda Hospital
Quality of Life Research | Year: 2012

Purpose To explore the internal structure of the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS-12), proposing a shorter one-dimensional version for routine use in community- oriented Mental Heath services. Methods A validation study involving four Mental Health Departments, located in the Province of Milan (Italy). Eligible patients were outpatients and residential inpatients rated on three occasions during the year 2009, with a range of mental illnesses and diagnoses. Methodologically, we use both exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with holdout validation and Rasch approaches and parallel analysis. Results EFA, Rasch analysis and parallel analysis demonstrate a large violation of unidimensionality. Both EFA (training sample) and Rasch analyses yield convergent results, generating the same unidimensional abbreviated version of the HoNOS-12, resulting in a six-item scale (HoNOS-6) which demonstrates unidimensionality, good item fit, a solid factor structure (strong loadings and communalities) and acceptable model fit, evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis on a validation sample. Conclusions The HoNOS-12 does not measure a single, underlying construct of mental health status. Nevertheless, the instrument can be utilized in a reduced version (HoNOS- 6), as a clinically acceptable outcome scale (measuring self-perceived clinical and social needs for community support, rather than global mental disorder) for routine use in a community setting population. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012.

Richiardi L.,University of Turin | Bellocco R.,Karolinska Institutet | Bellocco R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zugna D.,University of Turin
International Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2013

In epidemiological studies it is often necessary to disentangle the pathways that link an exposure to an outcome. Typically the aim is to identify the total effect of the exposure on the outcome, the effect of the exposure that acts through a given set of mediators of interest (indirect effect) and the effect of the exposure unexplained by those same mediators (direct effect). The traditional approach to mediation analysis is based on adjusting for the mediator in standard regression models to estimate the direct effect. However, several methodological papers have shown that under a number of circumstances this traditional approach may produce flawed conclusions. Through a better understanding of the causal structure of the variables involved in the analysis, with a formal definition of direct and indirect effects in a counterfactual framework, alternative analytical methods have been introduced to improve the validity and interpretation of mediation analysis. In this paper, we review and discuss the impact of the three main sources of potential bias in the traditional approach to mediation analyses: (i) mediator-outcome confounding;(ii) exposure-mediator interaction and (iii) mediator-outcome confounding affected by the exposure. We provide examples and discuss the impact these sources have in terms of bias. © The Author 2013; all rights reserved.

Comotti A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bracco S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ben T.,Jilin University | Qiu S.,Jilin University | Sozzani P.,University of Milan Bicocca
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2014

Porous organic frameworks perform a variety of functions, owing to their extremely large surface areas, but the dynamics of the structural elements have never been explored. Our discovery of ultra-fast molecular rotors (10 6 Hz at 225 K) in their architectures allows us to look at them from a new perspective. The constructive elements are robust struts and rapid rotors, resulting in a dynamic material whose motion can be frozen or released at will. The rotational motion can be actively regulated in response to guests. As the temperature is increased, the rotors spin ever faster, approaching free-rotational diffusion at 550 K. The unusual combination of remarkable nanoporosity with fast dynamics is intriguing for engineering oscillating dipoles and producing responsive materials with switchable ferroelectricity, and for applications spanning from sensors to actuators, which capture and release chemicals on command. Fast molecular dynamics and large sorption capacity were combined in porous organic frameworks. The low-density, yet robust covalent architectures sustain extremely rapid rotational motion of the phenylene rings up to high temperatures. Porosity enables modulation of rotor dynamics by chemical stimuli: linear alkanes and iodine vapors, pervading the material, regulate rotor speed at will. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Gionco C.,University of Turin | Paganini M.C.,University of Turin | Giamello E.,University of Turin | Burgess R.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 2 more authors.
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2013

The paramagnetic defects present in pristine zirconium dioxide (ZrO 2) and those formed upon reductive treatments (either annealing or UV irradiation in H2) are described and rationalized by the joint use of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and DFT supercell calculations. Three types of Zr3+ reduced sites have been examined both in the bulk of the solid (one center) and at the surface (two centers). Trapping electron centers different from reduced Zr ions are also present, whose concentration increases upon annealing. A fraction of these sites are paramagnetic showing a symmetric signal at g = 2.0023, but the majority of them are EPR silent and are revealed by analysis of electron transfer from the reduced solid to oxygen. The presence of classic F-type centers (electrons in bulk oxygen vacancies) is disregarded on the basis of the g-tensor symmetry. This is expected, on the basis of theoretical calculations, to be anisotropic and thus incompatible with the observed signal. In general terms, ZrO2 has some properties similar to typical reducible oxides such as TiO2 and CeO2 (excess electrons stabilized at cationic sites), but it is much more resistant to reduction than this class of materials. While point defects in doped (Y 3+, Ca2+) ZrO2 materials have been widely investigated for their role as ionic conductors, the defectivity of pristine ZrO2 is much less known; this paper presents a thorough analysis of this phenomenon. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Omboni S.,Italian Institute of Telemedicine | Gazzola T.,Italian Institute of Telemedicine | Carabelli G.,Italian Institute of Telemedicine | Parati G.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2013

Objective: To systematically review data from randomized controlled studies on the effectiveness of home blood pressure telemonitoring (HBPT) versus usual care with respect to improvement of BP control, healthcare resources utilization and costs, patient's quality of life and adverse events. Methods: Electronic databases were searched for publications in English. The benefit and relative risk (RR) were estimated applying a random-effect model. Results: Twenty-three randomized controlled trials with a high level of heterogeneity were selected (7037 patients). Compared to usual care, HBPT improved office SBP by 4.71 mmHg [95% confidence interval (CI): 6.18, 3.24; P < 0.001] and DBP by 2.45mmHg (3.33, 1.57; P < 0.001). A larger proportion of patients achieved office BP normalization (<140/90 mmHg nondiabetic patients and <130/80 mmHg diabetic patients) in the intervention group [RR: 1.16 (1.04, 1.29); P < 0.001]. HBPT led to a significantly larger prescription of antihypertensive medications [+0.40 (+0.17,+0.62), P < 0.001], but to therapeutic adherence and rate of office consultations similar to usual care. Healthcare costs were significantly (P < 0.001) larger in the HBPT group [+662.92 (+540.81, +785.04) euros per patient], but were similar to those of the usual care when only medical costs were considered [-12.4 (-930.52, +906.23) euros; P = 0.767]. Use of HBPT helped improving the physical component of quality of life [SF-12 or SF-36 questionnaire: +2.78 (+1.15, +4.41) P < 0.001]. No difference was observed in the risk of adverse events [RR: 1.22 (0.86, 1.71); P = 0.111]. Conclusion: HBPT may represent a useful tool to improve hypertension control and associated healthcare outcomes, although it is still more costly compared with usual care. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Islam M.M.,University of Bonn | Islam M.M.,École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris | Calatayud M.,CNRS Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory | Pacchioni G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2011

The mechanisms of adsorption of hydrogen on the anatase TiO 2(101) surface and of its diffusion in the bulk are investigated with DFT calculations and compared with similar results obtained for the diffusion of hydrogen on the rutile (110) surface. Because of the different oxygen environments in anatase and rutile surfaces, the H binding energy on the anatase surface is 0.2-0.3 eV smaller than in rutile. Various processes for H diffusion are investigated using the climbing nudged-elastic-band (cNEB) approach. We have identified three main diffusion mechanisms, leading to migration of H on the surface, diffusion into the bulk, and desorption of H 2 molecule. Our calculated activation barrier (E act) shows that migration of H into the bulk is the kinetically most favorable process. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Potocnik P.,Institute of Mathematics | Spiga P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Verret G.,University of Western Australia
Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B | Year: 2015

The main result of this paper is that, if Γ is a connected 4-valent G-arc-transitive graph and v is a vertex of Γ, then either Γ is part of a well-understood infinite family of graphs, or |Gv|≤2436 or 2|Gv|log2(|Gv|/2)≤|VΓ| and that this last bound is tight. As a corollary, we get a similar result for 3-valent vertex-transitive graphs. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Comotti A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bracco S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mauri M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mottadelli S.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 3 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Polymers framed: Interpenetrated nanocomposites were formed by polymerization of acrylonitrile in a ultrahigh surface area (>5000 m 2 g -1) porous framework. The resulting material realizes a hyperextended interface with uniform interdigitation of the two structures at the size limit of the individual molecular moieties. The confined poly(acrylonitrile) chains could be transformed into light-absorbing polyconjugated ladder polymers. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Destri C.,University of Milan Bicocca | De Vega H.J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | De Vega H.J.,Paris Observatory | Sanchez N.G.,Paris Observatory
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

Analytic formulas reproducing the warm dark matter (WDM) cosmological spectra are obtained for WDM particles decoupling in and out of thermal equilibrium; these formulas provide the initial data for WDM nonlinear structure formation. We compute and analyze the corresponding WDM overdensities and compare them to the cold dark matter (CDM) case. We consider the ratio of the WDM to CDM spectrum and the ratio of the WDM to CDM overdensities: They turn out to be self-similar functions of k/k1/2 and R/R1/2, respectively, with k1/2 and R1/2 being the wavenumber and length where the WDM spectrum and overdensity are one-half of the respective CDM magnitudes. Both k1/2 and R1/2 show scaling as powers of the WDM particle mass m, while the self-similar functions are independent of m. The WDM spectrum sharply decreases around k1/2 with respect to the CDM spectrum, while the WDM overdensity slowly decreases around R1/2 for decreasing scales with respect to the CDM one. The nonlinear regions where WDM structure formation takes place are shown and compared to those in CDM: The WDM nonlinear structures start to form later than in CDM, and as a general trend, decreasing the DM particle mass delays the onset of the nonlinear regime. The nonlinear regime starts earlier for smaller objects than for larger ones; smaller objects can form earlier both in WDM and CDM. We compute and analyze the differential mass function dN/dM for WDM at redshift z in the Press-Schechter approach. The WDM suppression effect of small scale structure increases with the redshift z. Our results for dN/dM are useful to be contrasted with observations, in particular, for 4â‰zâ‰12. We perform all of these studies for the most popular WDM particle physics models. Contrasting them to observations should give the value of the WDM particle mass within the keV scale. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Hosseini S.M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hosseini S.M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Veliz-Osorio A.,University of Witwatersrand
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

In order to compute the entanglement entropy for a given region in a theory with an Einstein gravity dual, the Ryu-Takayanagi prescription tells us that we must compute the area of an extremal surface anchored to the entangling region. However, if the dual gravity theory receives higher-curvature corrections we are compelled to extremize a quantity which is no longer given by the area but a higher-derivative functional. Hence, in order to find the extremal surface that yields the correct value of the entanglement entropy, we must include an additional boundary condition to the problem. We claim that the additional condition can be fixed by demanding that the relationship between the bulk depth and the size of the entangling region is the one induced by geodesics, we call this the free-kick condition. We implement this prescription in the computation of the entanglement entropy of the hairy black hole in new massive gravity, and find a perfect agreement with conformal field theory expectations. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Argyriou A.A.,Saint Andrews General Hospital of Patras | Bruna J.,Bellvitge University Hospital | Bruna J.,University of Barcelona | Marmiroli P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Cavaletti G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2012

The peripheral nervous system can be vulnerable to the toxic action of several drugs since it is not protected as effectively as the central nervous system from noxious exogenous agents. Drug-induced neurotoxicity can affect the nerve fibers or the neuronal bodies (generally the dorsal root ganglia of the primary sensory neurons). Among the neurotoxic drugs antineoplastic agents represent a major clinical problem, given their widespread use and the potential severity of their toxicity. In fact, the peripheral neurotoxicity of antineoplastic agents frequently represents one of their dose-limiting side effects. Moreover, even when antineoplastic agents' peripheral neurotoxicity is not dose-limiting, its onset may severely affect the quality of life of cancer patients and cause chronic discomfort. Among the anticancer chemotherapy drugs, platinum derivates, antitubulins, thalidomide and bortezomib can induce the most severe effects on the peripheral nervous system of the treated patients. Therefore, we will review the features of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN) resulting from the administration of these drugs with a focus on new classes of promising antineoplastic agents, such as epothilones and proteasome inhibitors. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Seravalle G.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Brambilla G.,IRCCS Multimedica | Mancia G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Canadian Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2012

The sympathetic nervous system is activated in a variety of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. This is particularly the case for essential hypertension, in which various indices of adrenergic activity, such as plasma norepinephrine, norepinephrine spillover, and sympathetic nerve firing rate, are all well above the reference range of values, thereby documenting sympathetic overdrive. Evidence is available that sympathetic neural factors participate in disease progression, as well as in the development of cardiac and renal organ damage. These findings represent the rationale for therapeutic interventions that counteract the adrenergic overdrive in the hypertensive state. This paper, after reviewing the key findings of the neuroadrenergic abnormalities occurring in hypertension, examines the rationale and the technical details, as well as the results achieved so far, with the use of a new technique that allows the elimination of afferent and efferent innervation of the kidney in resistant hypertension, ie, the ablation of renal nerves. Strengths and potential limitations of the renal denervation approach are briefly addressed. © 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Destri C.,University of Milan Bicocca | De Vega H.J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | De Vega H.J.,Paris Observatory | Sanchez N.G.,Paris Observatory
New Astronomy | Year: 2013

We derive the main physical galaxy properties: mass, halo radius, phase space density and velocity dispersion from a semiclassical gravitational approach in which fermionic WDM is treated quantum mechanically. They turn out to be fully compatible with observations. The Pauli Principle implies for the fermionic DM phase-space density Q(r→)=ρ(r→)/ σ3(r→) the quantum bound Q(r→)≤K m4/ℏ3, where m is the DM particle mass, σ(r→) is the DM velocity dispersion and K is a pure number of order one which we estimate. Cusped profiles from N-body galaxy simulations produce a divergent Q(r) at r=0 violating this quantum bound. The combination of this quantum bound with the behaviour of Q(r) from simulations, the virial theorem and galaxy observational data on Q implies lower bounds on the halo radius and a minimal distance rmin from the centre at which classical galaxy dynamics for DM fermions breaks down. For WDM, rmin turns to be in the parsec scale. For cold dark matter (CDM), rmin is between dozens of kilometers and a few meters, astronomically compatible with zero. For hot dark matter (HDM), rmin is from the kpc to the Mpc. In summary, this quantum bound rules out the presence of galaxy cusps for fermionic WDM, in agreement with astronomical observations, which show that the DM halos are cored. We show that compact dwarf galaxies are natural quantum macroscopic objects supported against gravity by the fermionic WDM quantum pressure (quantum degenerate fermions) with a minimal galaxy mass and minimal velocity dispersion. Quantum mechanical calculations which fulfil the Pauli Principle become necessary to compute galaxy structures at kpc scales and below. Classical N-body simulations are not valid at scales below rmin. We apply the Thomas-Fermi semiclassical approach to fermionic WDM galaxies, we resolve it numerically and find the physical galaxy magnitudes: mass, halo radius, phase-space density, velocity dispersion, fully consistent with observations especially for compact dwarf galaxies. Namely, fermionic WDM treated quantum mechanically, as it must be, reproduces the observed galaxy DM cores and their sizes. The lightest known dwarf galaxy (Willman I) implies a lower bound for the WDM particle mass m>0.96 keV. These results and the observed galaxies with halo radius ≥30 pc and halo mass ≥4×105Mȯ provide further indication that the WDM particle mass m is approximately in the range 1-2 keV. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Giordano L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ferrari A.M.,University of Turin
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2012

The dissociation of water dimers at the MgO(100) surface and MgO ultrathin films on Ag(100) has been studied by means of pure DFT and hybrid functional calculations. We demonstrate that at the intermediate regime between the isolated molecule and the water monolayer, barrierless dissociation of water occurs when assisted by another water molecule. The metal support has been shown to crucially influence the overall process. Indeed, on the metal-supported ultrathin film, the dissociated form is noticeably stabilized, at variance with the MgO(100) surface, where the dissociated fragments can easily recombine. The stabilization of the dissociated charged fragments arises from the polarization of the electron density at the oxide-metal interface and from the polaronic distortion of the oxide film. The presence of the metallic substrate strongly weakens the interaction after the dissociation by changing the nature of the newly formed ion pair, with possible effects on the dynamics and the reactivity of water fragments on the oxide ultrathin film. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Cuspidi C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Cuspidi C.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Rescaldani M.,University of Milan | Sala C.,University of Milan | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2014

AIM: Left-ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is a frequent complication in obese individuals; an updated review and meta-analysis focusing on this issue is lacking. Thus, we analysed the literature in order to provide a comprehensive information on the left-ventricular structural changes, as assessed by echocardiography, associated to obesity. DESIGN: A literature search using the keywords 'left ventricle', 'left-ventricular hypertrophy', 'cardiac hypertrophy', 'obesity', 'hypertension' and 'echocardiography' was performed in order to identify relevant papers. Full articles published in English language in the past 12 years reporting studies in adult obese individuals were considered. RESULTS: A total of 22 studies including 5486 obese individuals were considered. Overall, in the pooled obese population, prevalence of LVH, defined by 12 criteria, was 56.0% (range 20.0-85.0%). Data provided by 15 studies (n=4999 obese individuals), including 6623 non-obese controls, showed that the probability of having LVH was much higher in cases than in non-obese counterparts (odds ratio 4.19, 95% confidence interval 2.67-6.53, P<0.01). A meta-regression analysis (n=2214; 14 studies) showed a direct correlation between BMI and left-ventricular mass (P<0.01). Among obese patients with LVH (n=1930; 15 studies), eccentric hypertrophy was more frequent than the concentric phenotype (66 versus 34%; P<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis shows that LVH is present in a consistent fraction of the obese population and that eccentric hypertrophy prevails over the concentric phenotype. As obesity-related LVH is a powerful risk factor for systolic/diastolic dysfunction, the prevention/treatment of obesity may have a strong, favourable impact on incident heart failure. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Mancia G.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Mancia G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Circulation Research | Year: 2014

Physiological studies have long documented the key role played by the autonomic nervous system in modulating cardiovascular functions and in controlling blood pressure values, both at rest and in response to environmental stimuli. Experimental and clinical investigations have tested the hypothesis that the origin, progression, and outcome of human hypertension are related to dysfunctional autonomic cardiovascular control and especially to abnormal activation of the sympathetic division. Here, we review the recent literature on the adrenergic and vagal abnormalities that have been reported in essential hypertension, with emphasis on their role as promoters and as amplifiers of the high blood pressure state. We also discuss the possible mechanisms underlying these abnormalities and their importance in the development and progression of the structural and functional cardiovascular damage that characterizes hypertension. Finally, we examine the modifications of sympathetic and vagal cardiovascular influences induced by current nonpharmacological and pharmacological interventions aimed at correcting elevations in blood pressure and restoring the normotensive state. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

Mancia G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Facchetti R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parati G.,San Luca Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2012

Background: Recent studies have reported that in patients under antihypertensive treatment visit-to-visit (or long-term) variability of clinic BP within a given patient has an independent prognostic significance. Partly based on between-patient dispersion of BP values during treatment (interindividual variability) it has also been reported that long-term clinic BP variability is greater for β-blocker than for calcium antagonist and other types of treatment. GOALS:: To measure visit-to-visit intraindividual variations of both clinic and 24-h mean BP in the hypertensive patients of the European Lacidipine Study on Atherosclerosis (ELSA) trial treated for 4 years with either atenolol or lacidipine, and to check whether interindividual clinic and 24-h BP variabilities during treatment can really be considered a surrogate of intraindividual variabilities in exploring differences between β-blocker and calcium antagonist treatments. Methods: Long-term intraindividual BP variability was defined as the coefficient of variation of the average systolic or diastolic values of clinic and 24-h BP measured at each visit throughout the treatment period. Patients in whom at least seven clinic (6-month intervals) or at least three (yearly intervals) 24-h values were available from the end of the drug titration phase to the end of the study were considered. Results: Visit-to-visit 24-h SBP/DBP variabilities were 20-25% smaller than, and loosely correlated with clinic BP variability (r 2 < 0.022). There was also a very limited relationship (r 2 < 0.026) between visit-to-visit and within 24-h ambulatory BP variabilities, the latter being two to three times greater than the former. Visit-to-visit intraindividual clinic SBP variability was only slightly lower on calcium antagonist than on β-blocker treatment but little or no between-treatment difference was found for visit-to-visit clinic DBP and ambulatory SBP/DBP particularly in patients under monotherapy throughout the study. Interindividual BP variability was markedly greater than the intra-individiual one of which it did not precisely reflect the treatment-induced changes. Conclusion: In mild-to-moderate hypertensive patients, visit-to-visit BP variability does not differ substantially between β-blocker and calcium antagonist treatment. Major discrepancies exist between visit-to-visit BP variability as quantified by 24-h vs. clinic BP, making investigation of which of these indices is clinically more relevant important. Interindividual BP variability during treatment shows marked quantitative differences with intraindividual BP variability questioning whether its use can accurately reflect individual BP variations from one visit to another. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Saracino G.A.A.,Center for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering | Saracino G.A.A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Cigognini D.,Center for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering | Cigognini D.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 5 more authors.
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

Nanostructured scaffolds recently showed great promise in tissue engineering: nanomaterials can be tailored at the molecular level and scaffold morphology may more closely resemble features of extracellular matrix components in terms of porosity, framing and biofunctionalities. As a consequence, both biomechanical properties of scaffold microenvironments and biomaterial-protein interactions can be tuned, allowing for improved transplanted cell engraftment and better controlled diffusion of drugs. Easier said than done, a nanotech-based regenerative approach encompasses different fields of know-how, ranging from in silico simulations, nanomaterial synthesis and characterization at the nano-, micro- and mesoscales to random library screening methods (e.g. phage display), in vitro cellular-based experiments and validation in animal models of the target injury. All of these steps of the "assembly line" of nanostructured scaffolds are tightly interconnected both in their standard analysis techniques and in their most recent breakthroughs: indeed their efforts have to jointly provide the deepest possible analyses of the diverse facets of the challenging field of neural tissue engineering. The purpose of this review is therefore to provide a critical overview of the recent advances in and drawbacks and potential of each mentioned field, contributing to the realization of effective nanotech-based therapies for the regeneration of peripheral nerve transections, spinal cord injuries and brain traumatic injuries. Far from being the ultimate overview of such a number of topics, the reader will acknowledge the intrinsic complexity of the goal of nanotech tissue engineering for a conscious approach to the development of a regenerative therapy and, by deciphering the thread connecting all steps of the research, will gain the necessary view of its tremendous potential if each piece of stone is correctly placed to work synergically in this impressive mosaic.

Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bertoli S.,Unita Operativa Nefrologia e Dialisi | Seravalle G.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano
Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension | Year: 2012

Purpose of Review: A number of cardiovascular disease have been shown to be characterized by a marked increase in sympathetic drive to the heart and peripheral circulation. This is the case for essential hypertension, congestive heart failure, obesity, metabolic syndrome and chronic renal failure. This review focuses on the most recent findings documenting the role of sympathetic neural factors in the development and progression of the hypertensive state as well as of target organ damage. It also reviews the participation of sympathetic neural factors in the development of the earlier stages of renal failure. Recent Findings: A marked increase in sympathetic neural discharge, as assessed via the microneurographic technique, has been shown to occur in the predialytic stage of chronic renal failure. Recent evidence, however, indicates that also in the earlier clinical phases of kidney disease, sympathetic activation is detectable. Further data show that sympathetic neural mechanisms participate in renal and/or hypertensive disease progression, favouring the development of target organ damage. Finally, recent findings indicate that the metabolic disarray frequently complicating the high blood pressure state (metabolic syndrome, dislipidemia, insulin resistance) may have as pathophysiological background a sympathetic overdrive. Altogether these data represent the rationale for employing in hypertension (and particularly in resistant hypertension) therapeutic interventions such as carotid baroreceptor stimulation and renal denervation, capable of exerting sympathoinhibitory effects. Summary: The sympathetic nervous system represents a major pathophysiological hallmark of both hypertension and renal failure and is an important target for the therapeutic intervention. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Zanchetti A.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Zanchetti A.,University of Milan | Thomopoulos C.,Helena Venizelou Hospital | Parati G.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Circulation Research | Year: 2015

Sixty-eight blood pressure (BP)-lowering randomized controlled trials (defined as randomized controlled trials comparing active treatment with placebo, or less active treatment, achieving a BP difference, performed between 1966 and end 2013 in cohorts with ≥40% hypertensive patients, and exclusive of trials in acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, acute stroke, and dialysis) were identified and meta-analyzed grouping the randomized controlled trials on the basis of clinically relevant questions: (1) does BP lowering reduce all types of cardiovascular outcome? (2) Is prevention of all outcomes proportional to the extent of systolic, diastolic, and pulse BP? (3) Have all classes of BP-lowering drugs been shown capable of reducing all types of cardiovascular outcome? (4) Is BP lowering beneficial when intervention is initiated at any grade (or stage) of hypertension? (5) Do BP-lowering randomized controlled trials provide evidence about systolic BP and diastolic BP targets of treatment? (6) Should BP-lowering treatment be preferentially addressed to patients in higher risk categories promising larger absolute treatment benefits? The results of these meta-analyses provide further support to current hypertension treatment guidelines by showing that BP lowering can significantly reduce major cardiovascular outcomes largely independent of the agents used, significant risk reduction is found at all hypertension grades (stages), and when systolic BP is lowered below a cut off of 140 mm Hg with some further reduction limited to stroke at systolic BP values just <130 mm Hg. Absolute risk reduction progressively increases higher is total cardiovascular risk, but this greater benefit is associated with a progressively higher residual risk, ie, higher treatment failures. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.

Hosseini S.M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hosseini S.M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Veliz-Osorio A.,University of Witwatersrand
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2016

We carry out a systematic study of entanglement entropy in nonrelativistic conformal field theories via holographic techniques. After a discussion of recent results concerning Galilean conformal field theories, we deduce a novel expression for the entanglement entropy of (1+1)-dimensional Lifshitz field theories - this is done both at zero and finite temperature. Based on these results, we pose a conjecture for the anomaly coefficient of a Lifshitz field theory dual to new massive gravity. It is found that the Lifshitz entanglement entropy at finite temperature displays a striking similarity with that corresponding to a flat space cosmology in three dimensions. We claim that this structure is an inherent feature of the entanglement entropy for nonrelativistic conformal field theories. We finish by exploring the behavior of the mutual information for such theories. © 2016 American Physical Society.

Hosseini S.M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hosseini S.M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Veliz-Osorio A.,University of Witwatersrand
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2016

We introduce a prescription to compute the entanglement entropy of Galilean conformal field theories by combining gravitational anomalies and an °nönü-Wigner contraction. We find that our expression for the entanglement entropy in the thermal limit reproduces the Cardy formula for Galilean conformal field theories. Using this proposal, we calculate the entanglement entropy for a class of Galilean conformal field theories, which are believed to be dual to three-dimensional flat-space cosmological solutions. These geometries describe expanding (contracting) universes and can be viewed as the flat-space limit of rotating Bañados-Teitelboim-Zanelli black holes. We show that our finding reduces, in the appropriate limits, to the results discussed in the literature and provide interpretations for the previously unexplored regimes, such as flat-space chiral gravity. © 2016 American Physical Society.

Maddalo D.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Manchado E.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Concepcion C.P.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Concepcion C.P.,Cornell University | And 10 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2014

Chromosomal rearrangements have a central role in the pathogenesis of human cancers and often result in the expression of therapeutically actionable gene fusions1. A recently discovered example is a fusion between the genes echinoderm microtubule-associated protein like 4 (EML4) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), generated by an inversion on the short arm of chromosome 2: inv(2) (p21p23).TheEML4-ALK oncogene is detected in a subset of human non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC)2 and is clinically relevant because it confers sensitivity to ALK inhibitors3. Despite their importance, modelling such genetic events in mice has proven challenging and requires complex manipulation of the germ line. Here we describe an efficient method to induce specific chromosomal rearrangements in vivo using viral-mediated delivery of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to somatic cells of adult animals. We apply it to generate a mousemodel ofEml4-Alk-driven lung cancer.The resulting tumours invariably harbour the Eml4-Alk inversion, express the Eml4-Alk fusion gene, display histopathological and molecular features typical of ALK1 human NSCLCs, and respond to treatment with ALK inhibitors.The general strategy described here substantially expands our ability to model human cancers in mice and potentially in other organisms. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Ficetola G.F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rondinini C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Bonardi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Katariya V.,IUCN Global Species Programme | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: Maps of species ranges are among the most frequently used distribution data in biodiversity studies. As with any biological data, range maps have some level of measurement error, but this error is rarely quantified. We assessed the error associated with amphibian range maps by comparing them with point locality data. Location: Global. Methods: The maps published by the Global Amphibian Assessment were assessed against two data sets of species point localities: the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and a refined data set including recently published, high-quality presence data from both GBIF and other sources. Range fit was measured as the proportion of presence records falling within the range polygon(s) for each species. Results: Using the high-quality point data provided better fit measures than using the raw GBIF data. Range fit was highly variable among continents, being highest for North American and European species (a fit of 84-94%), and lowest for Asian and South American species (a fit of 57-64%). At the global scale, 95% of amphibian point records were inside the ranges published in maps, or within 31 km of the range edge. However, differences among continents were striking, and more points were found far from range edges for South American and Asian species. Main conclusions: The Global Amphibian Assessment range maps represent the known distribution of most amphibians well; this study provides measures of accuracy that can be useful for future research using amphibian maps as baseline data. Nevertheless, there is a need for greater investment in the continuous updating and improvement of maps, particularly in the megadiverse areas of tropical Asia and South America. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Cuspidi C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Cuspidi C.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Rescaldani M.,University of Milan | Sala C.,University of Milan
American Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2013

Background Left atrial enlargement (LAE) is a marker of hypertensive heart disease associated with increased cardiovascular risk. We reviewed recent literature about the prevalence of LAE, as assessed by echocardiography, to update our information about the clinical relevance of this cardiac phenotype in human hypertension. Methods We performed a search of MEDLINE using the key words "left atrial enlargement," "left atrial dilatation," "left atrial size," "hypertension," "echocardiography, " and "atrial fibrillation" to identify relevant papers. We considered full articles published in English from January 1, 2000 to July 1, 2012 reporting studies involving adult individuals. Results We analyzed a total of 15 studies, including 10,141 untreated and treated subjects. LAE was defined according to 11 different criteria (4 studies applied two or three criteria), and its prevalence consistently varied among studies, from 16.0-83.0%, with a prevalence in the pooled population of 32%. A gender-based analysis of 9 studies (8,588 patients) showed the prevalence of LAE as being similar in women and men (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 0.83-1.83; P = 0.30). Data provided by 10 studies (n = 9,354 patients) showed the prevalence of left-ventricular hypertrophy as being significantly higher in patients with LAE (68.2%) than in their counterparts without LAE (41.8%) (OR, 2.97; 95% CI, 2.68-3.29; P < 0.01).CONCLUSIONSOur analysis shows that LAE is present in a relevant fraction of the hypertensive population. Because LAE is an independent predictor of cardiovascular events, the accurate detection of this phenotype may improve the evaluation of risk in hypertensive patients. © 2012 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd 2012. All rights reserved.

Massaro F.R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rubbo M.,University of Turin | Aquilano D.,University of Turin
Crystal Growth and Design | Year: 2010

The theoretical and equilibrium morphology of gypsum (CaSO 4·2H2O) is reassessed, starting from the historical papers by Simon and Bienfait (1965) and by Heijnen and Hartman (1991). The surface profiles of the most frequently observed crystal forms have been determined following two ways: in the first one we used the Hartman-Perdok method based on the periodic bond chain (PBC) analysis, while in the second one the profile of each face was obtained using the GDIS program. In both cases, the calculation of the specific surface energy values has been made using the general utility lattice program (GULP) code. From the synthesis of the two methods, a new and much more isotropic equilibrium shape is calculated, in the case of both unrelaxed and relaxed surfaces. Further, and for the first time, beyond the well-known and singular {010}, {120}, {011}, and {111} F-forms, two stepped, {100} and {122}, and one kinked form, {102}, are found to build the equilibrium shape of gypsum. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Pastero L.,University of Turin | Aquilano D.,University of Turin | Moret M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Crystal Growth and Design | Year: 2012

NaCl crystals were obtained from water-formamide (H-CO-NH 2) solutions, either by slow evaporation at 30 °C or by programmed cooling of solutions saturated at 95 °C, the formamide concentration ranging from 0 to 100% (in weight). Accordingly, the crystal morphology changes from {100} (pure aqueous solution) to {100} + {111} (water-formamide solutions) to {111} (pure formamide solution). X-ray powder diffraction diagrams, carried out on the bulky crystallized population, prove that formamide is not only adsorbed on the {111} NaCl octahedron but is also selectively captured within the {111} growth sectors. The excellent two-dimensional lattice coincidences between the d 101 layers of formamide and the NaCl - d 111 ones suggest that formamide can be adsorbed in the form of ordered epitaxial layers; further, the striking equivalence between the thickness of the elementary layers d111NaCl and d101formamide indicates that formamide is allowed to be buried (absorption) in the growing crystal. Moreover, empirical force field calculations carried out on reconstructed {111} NaCl surfaces, both Na + and Cl - terminated, allowed to evaluate the adhesion energy between the formamide epitaxial layers and the underlying {111} NaCl substrate. Hence, one can definitively state that formamide is not only an habit modifier of NaCl crystals, but that "anomalous NaCl/formamide mixed crystals" form, limited to the {111} NaCl growth sectors. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Parati G.,Sluca Hospital | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Esler M.,Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
European Heart Journal | Year: 2012

Evidence assembled in this review indicates that sympathetic nervous system dysfunction is crucial in the development of heart failure and essential hypertension. This takes the form of persistent and adverse activation of sympathetic outflows to the heart and kidneys in both conditions. An important goal for clinical scientists is translation of the knowledge of pathophysiology, such as this, into better treatment for patients. The achievement of this 'mechanisms to management' transition is at different stages of development with regard to the two disorders. Clinical translation is mature in cardiac failure, knowledge of cardiac neural pathophysiology having led to the introduction of beta-adrenergic blockers, an effective therapy. With essential hypertension perhaps we are on the cusp of effective translation, with recent successful testing of selective catheter-based renal sympathetic nerve ablation in patients with resistant hypertension, an intervention firmly based on the demonstration of activation of the renal sympathetic outflow. Additional evidence in this regard is provided by the results of pilot studies exploring the possibility to reduce blood pressure in resistant hypertensives through electrical stimulation of the area of carotid baroreceptors. Despite the general importance of the sympathetic nervous system in blood pressure regulation, and the specific demonstration that the blood pressure elevation in essential hypertension is commonly initiated and sustained by sympathetic nervous activation, drugs antagonizing this system are currently underutilized in the care of patients with hypertension. Use of beta-adrenergic blocking drugs is waning, given the propensity of this drug class to have adverse metabolic effects, including predisposition to diabetes development. The blood pressure lowering achieved with carotid baroreceptor stimulation and with the renal denervation device affirms the importance of the sympathetic nervous system in hypertension pathogenesis, and perhaps suggests a wider role for anti-adrenergic antihypertensives, such as the imidazoline drug class (moxonidine, rilmenidine) which act within the CNS to inhibit central sympathetic outflow, although the lack of large-scale outcome trials with this drug class remains a very material deficiency. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. © The Author 2012.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 10.45M | Year: 2011

In the frame of this project it is proposed to define and build a bi-modal PET-US (Positron Emission Tomography and Ultrasound) endoscopic probe combining in a miniaturized system a fully digital, 200ps time resolution Time of Flight PET detector head (TOF-PET) coupled to a commercial ultrasound (US) assisted biopsy endoscope and to launch the first steps of clinical validation. The project addresses and combines several objectives of the topics Health 2010.1.2-1, such as novel multimodality imaging tools, including a single photon (quantum) counting PET detector head for the purpose of identifying and quantifying morphologic and functional markers and of developing new biomarkers of tumoral processes at the preclinical and clinical levels. Moreover the endoscopic approach, combined with an unprecedented PET timing resolution will allow more sensitive, more precise, lower radiation dose and less invasive imaging and intervention on small internal structures and lesions.

Hydro - Quebec, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Foerdrung der Angewandten Forshung E.V., Consortium for Science, Technology of Materials and University of Milan Bicocca | Date: 2012-09-19

A flexible transparent electrochromic device, which includes the following components, each of which is a flexible film: a working electrode comprising a transparent conducting substrate supporting an working electrode active material; a counter electrode including a transparent conducting substrate supporting a counter electrode active material; a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) including a solution of a lithium salt in a polymer solvent. A method for preparing an electrochromic device includes the steps of: preparing a working electrode film, preparing a counter electrode film, preparing a polymer electrolyte film, and assembling the electrodes and the electrolyte, the method being implemented continuously.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: INCO.2011-6.2 | Award Amount: 609.53K | Year: 2011

The rapid growth of cross-border markets and global concerns are creating a huge demand to facilitate knowledge sharing between societies. The diversity of languages, cultures, and standards are the main barriers to sharing and consuming knowledge. The objective of the SIERA project is to reinforce closer and sustainable scientific cooperation between Palestinian and EU scientists in the field of multilingual and multicultural knowledge sharing technologies. This objective is attained through integrating BZU Sina Institute, which is the largest ICT research centre in Palestine and among a few in the Arab world in this field, into the European Research Area. BZU Sina institute will twin with four leading European research institutions that are pioneers in the area of multilingual knowledge sharing and have an excellent profile in research cooperation at the European and international levels. This collective expertise and scientific excellence will be utilized to help BZU Sina Institute enhance its research cooperation capacity. In particular, the project aims at achieving the following specific goals: (i) Widening the R&D strategy of BZU Sina Institute, (ii) setting up joint research and cooperation, (iii) facilitating PhD students co-supervision, (iv) Organizing joint summer courses, (v) building competency and facilitating the participation of BZU Sina Institute in FP7, and (vi) increasing the visibility and impact of BZU Sina Institute at the regional and international levels.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.4.3 | Award Amount: 1.84M | Year: 2013

The project COMSODE (Components Supporting the Open Data Exploitation) is an SME-driven RTD project aimed at progressing the capabilities in the Open Data re-use field. The concept is an answer to barriers still present in this young area: data published by various open data catalogues are poorly integrated; quality assessment and cleansing are seldom addressed. Data consumers have to integrate the data before they can use them which increases significantly the costs of open data consumption and hinder open data usage and uptake, etc.COMSODE has the following main objectives:(1) Create a publication platform called Open Data Node that builds on results of previous research and development in the linked data field. Its mission is to bring results from research environment into real-world for people, SMEs and other organizations to use and re-use.(2) Create a methodology framework for easy use of technology in operating conditions of typical public bodies and rigorously tested for traceability, usability and sustainability in a public body environment. This is going to be verified in three pilot implementations during the project. End user-communities will be involved EU-wide to set a use case framework within which the requirements of heterogeneous organisations can be clearly understood. Provided feedback will be processed into the final methodology and recommendations for re-use applications.These two results will enable new applications to emerge some of them will be directly created in the project by consortium members (search service by SPINQUE) or by associated bodies (Semantic Web Company, Austria).The project will cooperate with activities under progress in the EU and internationally (consortium members were personally involved in many of them: e.g. LOD2, OGP, etc.)It is a project ambition to lay the foundations for a data integration platform based on Open Data which will allow the re-use of data not only between public bodies and end-users but also among public bodies themselves: Public bodies can exchange information by using the same infrastructure and tools as end-users which will decrease costs of exchanging the data and in most cases also enhance the quality and speed-up of the exchange. What is even more important, OpenData APIs can be used by integration projects between public bodies, again saving costs and enhancing the quality of the resulting solution. This in turn strengthens OpenData publishing, with end-users benefiting again a self reinforcing loop.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: H2020-TWINN-2015 | Award Amount: 999.49K | Year: 2016

The objective is to enhance the S&T abilities in the field of smart, data driven e-services in water management, with focus on the widening organization. The complexity of research related to water management is extremely high and requires deep expertise in several ICT-related research domains. The dynamics of water and the role of humans in the water cycle are not well understood largely because environmental and socio-economic analyses are still performed separately. The specific objectives are: Enhance the science and technology capacity of the participating institutions; Raise staffs research profile as well as the one of the institutions involved; Contribute to the Smart Specialisation Strategy; Contribute to the development of a new, interdisciplinary research domain. Main activities in the project are: organization of workshops, summer schools; exchange and training of researchers; develop a roadmap for the UPB, aligned with the partners research agendas in the area of IT for water management; development of a knowledge transfer and remote training system, and inclusion of UTB team in an operational research network. The research quality system will be set up, based on the Composite indicator of Research Excellence. The project will also help to raise staffs research profile. The scientific strategy of the UPB team will be oriented towards inter/trans-disciplinary and practical applicability, valorization and impact in water management, which also fits to the Smart Specialization Strategy of Romania. The main expected impact is the increase of publications number with high visibility, and the creation of an active network with relevant stakeholders. The consortium was constituted so that it is representative for the research topic, that has a strong interdisciplinary character, with main focus on information technology. The project consortium consists of two leading research partners in the field of IT and a water management leading research partner.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.12M | Year: 2015

Based on an international team derived from the COST action BM1003 (, 2011-2014) and thus relying on consolidated group interactions and synergies and on a unique combination of chemistry, biology, biophysics, biochemistry and pharmacology expertise, the TOLLerant project aims to gain information on molecular aspects of TLR4 activation and signaling by using synthetic and natural compounds and nanoparticles that interact selectively with some components (mainly MD-2 and CD14) of the TRL4 recognition system. TLR4 is an emerging molecular target related to an impressively broad spectrum of modern day disorders still lacking specific pharmacological treatment. These include autoimmune disorders, chronic inflammations, allergies, asthma, infectious and CNS diseases and cancer. The short-term scientific objective is to develop novel, non-toxic, synthetic and natural TLR4 modulators (agonists or antagonists) and to assess their therapeutic potential on animal models of TLR4-related acute and chronic pathologies that still lack efficient pharmacological treatment. The long-term scientific objective is to develop a new generation of innovative, TLR4-based therapeutics, to be used as vaccine adjuvants, anti-sepsis agents, and anti-inflammatory agents to treat chronic inflammations (allergy, asthma). The training programme will provide Early Stage Researchers (ESR) with broad competences, experience and skills in the cutting-edge, inter-disciplinary research in the field of chemical biology related to the molecular mechanisms of innate immunity and inflammation. During the training, the young researchers will be supported by senior scientists to cultivate their scientific, entrepreneurial and inter-cultural mindset. The non-academic sector will be committed to provide ESRs with entrepreneurship and company management skills, in order to enhance their employability by the private sector or even to motivate them to create own start-up companies.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 2.16M | Year: 2008

Background: The DNA damage response (DDR) is a specialised stress response fundamental to maintaining genome integrity and suppressing tumour formation. Traditional molecular and cellular biology, combined with genetics and biochemistry, have led to an understanding of the architecture of the DDR in a variety of model organisms and in human cells. These studies have employed populations of cells/molecules and their results are of necessity an average of the response. High sensitivity imaging technologies make it feasible to study events in single cells and to do experiments with small numbers of molecules in vitro. These can now be applied to the DDR. Project Objectives: To provide an interdisciplinary training in single cell and single molecule studies to graduate students in Physics, Chemistry, LS, Maths and Computer sciences. The focus of the research will be the study of the DDR and genome stability. The main technologies to be developed concern high resolution molecular imaging methodologies. Specific aims: To train eight early stage researchers to doctoral level to utilize an interdisciplinary approach to address specific scientific questions and to communicate between disciplines. Study Design: We will achieve our objective by building a network comprising four local groups, each a collaboration between an imaging specialist and a cell biologist / molecular geneticists engaged in research on genome stability. The collaborating scientists will serve as co-advisors and will develop a personalised interdisciplinary research training programme for each recruit. Local training will be augmented by specially designed network-wide summer schools, workshops and meetings encompassing all network participants and invited experts. An industrial partner is integral to the network in order to share methods and provide secondments and input into workshops to train researchers in technology exploitation.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 5.70M | Year: 2011

We propose to establish a special detector-training network aiming to extend the application of cutting-edge technologies developed in High Energy Physics (HEP) to other domains, such as medical imaging. A large number of detector techniques, developed for and used in particle physics experiments, has been transferred successfully to other fields. Most prominent are their applications in medicine, X-ray imaging, materials research, astrophysics and others. These technological spin-offs are of highest value for society and will be a focal point in this Network. Not only for positron emission tomography (PET), the Network will likewise respond to the need to develop new ultra-fast photo-detection for the future generation of linear colliders with unprecedented beam intensities. The Multi-Site Network, to be coordinated by CERN, would be an interdisciplinary, multi-national initiative whose main goal is to train young researchers in the domain of novel high-speed photo-detection instruments in HEP calorimetry and also to make use of photon time of flight (TOF) in PET, thus enabling us for the first time to considerably enhance image quality with instant benefits to patients and medical institutions. This multi-site ITN comprises 11 full partners, 7 in academia and 4 in the private sector, known world-wide in the fields of frontier detector technologies, photo detection techniques and novel scintillator production methods, as well as in the domain of semiconductor technology, medical instrumentation, image reconstruction and fusion, and surgical tracking and navigation. As such, the Network combines the necessary competence, expertise and infrastructure for top-level training of young researchers. It is foreseen to hire 18 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) plus 4 Experienced Researchers (ERs) and structure the training project into five principle research-oriented work packages, and three work package for management, training and outreach.

Colpi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Colpi M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Space Science Reviews | Year: 2014

Massive binary black holes (105 M⊙–109 M⊙) form at the centre of galaxies that experience a merger episode. They are expected to coalesce into a larger black hole, following the emission of gravitational waves. Coalescing massive binary black holes are among the loudest sources of gravitational waves in the Universe, and the detection of these events is at the frontier of contemporary astrophysics. Understanding the black hole binary formation path and dynamics in galaxy’s mergers is therefore mandatory. A key question poses: during a merger, will the black holes descend over time on closer orbits, form a Keplerian binary and coalesce shortly after? Here we review progress discussing the fate of black holes in different environments: from major mergers of collisionless galaxies to major and minor mergers of gas-rich disc galaxies, from smooth and clumpy circum-nuclear discs to circum-binary discs present on the smallest scales inside galactic nuclei. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Denoel M.,University of Liège | Ficetola G.F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ficetola G.F.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory
Journal of Animal Ecology | Year: 2014

Heterochrony, the change in the rate or timing of development between ancestors and their descendants, plays a major role in evolution. When heterochrony produces polymorphisms, it offers the possibility to test hypotheses that could explain its success across environments. Amphibians are particularly suitable to exploring these questions because they express complex life cycles (i.e. metamorphosis) that have been disrupted by heterochronic processes (paedomorphosis: retention of larval traits in adults). The large phenotypic variation across populations suggests that more complex processes than expected are operating, but they remain to be investigated through multivariate analyses over a large range of natural populations across time. In this study, we compared the likelihood of multiple potential environmental determinants of heterochrony. We gathered data on the proportion of paedomorphic and metamorphic palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) across more than 150 populations during 10 years and used an information-theoretic approach to compare the support of multiple potential processes. Six environmental processes jointly explained the proportion of paedomorphs in populations: predation, water availability, dispersal limitation, aquatic breathing, terrestrial habitat suitability and antipredator refuges. Analyses of variation across space and time supported models based on the advantage of paedomorphosis in favourable aquatic habitats. Paedomorphs were favoured in deep ponds, in conditions favourable to aquatic breathing (high oxygen content), with lack of fish and surrounded by suitable terrestrial habitat. Metamorphs were favoured by banks allowing easy dispersal. These results indicate that heterochrony relies on complex processes involving multiple ecological variables and exemplifies why heterochronic patterns occur in contrasted environments. On the other hand, the fast selection of alternative morphs shows that metamorphosis and paedomorphosis developmental modes could be easily disrupted in natural populations. © 2014 British Ecological Society.

Halmagyi N.,CNRS Theoretical and High Energy Physics | Petrini M.,CNRS Theoretical and High Energy Physics | Petrini M.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center | Zaffaroni A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zaffaroni A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We find infinite families of supersymmetric solutions of four dimensional, N = 2 gauged supergravity with Lifshitz, Schrödinger and also AdS symmetries. We focus on the canonical example of a single hypermultiplet and a single vector multiplet and find that the spectrum of solutions depends crucially on whether the gaugings are electric or magnetic but to a far milder extent on the strength of the gaugings. For purely electric or purely magnetic gaugings we generically find Lifshitz solutions, while for a mixed gauging we find Schrödinger and AdS solutions. For some of the gaugings the theory has a known lift to string/M-theory thus giving a higher dimensional embedding of our solutions. © 2011 SISSA.

Madau P.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Haardt F.,University of Insubria | Haardt F.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Dotti M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Dotti M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2014

We consider super-critical accretion with angular momentum onto stellar-mass black holes as a possible mechanism for growing billion-solar-mass black holes from light seeds at early times. We use the radiatively inefficient "slim disk" solution - advective, optically thick flows that generalize the standard geometrically thin disk model - to show how mildly super-Eddington intermittent accretion may significantly ease the problem of assembling the first massive black holes when the universe was less than 0.8 Gyr old. Because of the low radiative efficiencies of slim disks around non-rotating as well as rapidly rotating black holes, the mass e-folding timescale in this regime is nearly independent of the spin parameter. The conditions that may lead to super-critical growth in the early universe are briefly discussed. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

D'Arienzo M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Carbajo J.,CSIC - Institute of Catalysis | Bahamonde A.,CSIC - Institute of Catalysis | Crippa M.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 4 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2011

The promising properties of anatase TiO 2 nanocrystals exposing specific surfaces have been investigated in depth both theoretically and experimentally. However, a clear assessment of the role of the crystal faces in photocatalytic processes is still under debate. In order to clarify this issue, we have comprehensively explored the properties of the photogenerated defects and in particular their dependence on the exposed crystal faces in shape-controlled anatase. Nanocrystals were synthesized by solvothermal reaction of titanium butoxide in the presence of oleic acid and oleylamine as morphology-directing agents, and their photocatalytic performances were evaluated in the phenol mineralization in aqueous media, using O 2 as the oxidizing agent. The charge-trapping centers, Ti 3+, O -, and O 2 -, formed by UV irradiation of the catalyst were detected by electron spin resonance, and their abundance and reactivity were related to the exposed crystal faces and to the photoefficiency of the nanocrystals. In vacuum conditions, the concentration of trapped holes (O - centers) increases with increasing {001} surface area and photoactivity, while the amount of Ti 3+ centers increases with the specific surface area of {101} facets, and the highest value occurs for the sample with the worst photooxidative efficacy. These results suggest that {001} surfaces can be considered essentially as oxidation sites with a key role in the photoxidation, while {101} surfaces provide reductive sites which do not directly assist the oxidative processes. Photoexcitation experiments in O 2 atmosphere led to the formation of Ti 4+-O 2 - oxidant species mainly located on {101} faces, confirming the indirect contribution of these surfaces to the photooxidative processes. Although this work focuses on the properties of TiO 2, we expect that the presented quantitative investigation may provide a new methodological tool for a more effective evaluation of the role of metal oxide crystal faces in photocatalytic processes. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores | Ulrich W.,Nicolaus Copernicus University
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2012

Many studies have found that species richness in the Western Palaearctic follows a latitudinal trend, yet the importance of geographical and ecological factors in shaping species ranges remains obscure. In this article, we present geographical patterns of darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae), a species-rich group of arthropods. We relate the spatial distributions of species, instead of simply species richness, to spatial and climatic gradients, and test the effects of area (by species-area relationships), latitude (by various climatic gradients) and environmental diversity (by elevation) using simultaneous autoregressive models to identify major correlates of species richness. We then use nestedness and co-occurrence analyses to identify glacial refugial centres and postglacial dispersal trajectories responsible for current species ranges. Our results indicate the presence of two refugial centres (in the Iberian and Balkan peninsulas) that appear to have been particularly important in shaping extant tenebrionid ranges. Northern countries were selectively colonized by more tolerant and, possibly, more mobile species, which survived in southern refugia during the Pleistocene glacial maxima, whereas the low dispersal capabilities of many species that evolved in these southern isolated areas prevented their spread northwards. High levels of endemism recorded in Spain and Sardinia suggest that the faunas of these regions originated during the Tertiary period and have remained substantially isolated. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London.

Sesana A.,Max Planck Institute for Physics | Barausse E.,CNRS Paris Institute of Astrophysics | Dotti M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Dotti M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Rossi E.M.,Leiden University
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2014

We present the results of a semianalytical model that evolves the masses and spins of massive black holes together with the properties of their host galaxies across the cosmic history. As a consistency check, our model broadly reproduces a number of observations, e.g., the cosmic star formation history; the black hole mass, luminosity, and galaxy mass functions at low redshift; the black hole-bulge mass relation; and the morphological distribution at low redshift. For the first time in a semianalytical investigation, we relax the simplifying assumptions of perfect coherency or perfect isotropy of the gas fueling the black holes. The dynamics of gas is instead linked to the morphological properties of the host galaxies, resulting in different spin distributions for black holes hosted in different galaxy types. We compare our results with the observed sample of spin measurements obtained through broad Kα iron line fitting. The observational data disfavor both accretion along a fixed direction and isotropic fueling. Conversely, when the properties of the accretion flow are anchored to the kinematics of the host galaxy, we obtain a good match between theoretical expectations and observations. A mixture of coherent accretion and phases of activity in which the gas dynamics is similar to that of the stars in bulges (i.e., with a significant velocity dispersion superimposed to a net rotation) best describes the data, adding further evidence in support of the coevolution of massive black holes and their hosts. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Gironi L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gironi L.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2013

Rare event searches impose strict requirements to the detectors such as an excellent energy resolution, a high detection efficiency and a very low background level. The bolometric technique has already proven to be very promising in this field. Among the features on which it is possible to further act to improve the detection sensitivity, the radioactive background reduction covers a primary role. This request can be satisfied through the possibility to identify the nature of the interacting particle. However, up to now, this opportunity can be fulfilled only with a double readout (e.g. heat and scintillation light). This double readout could greatly complicate the assembly of a huge, multi-detector array. The possibility to recognize the interacting particle through the shape of the thermal pulse is therefore a very interesting opportunity. Detailed analysis of the signal time development in macro-bolometers composed by scintillating crystals showed that it is possible to distinguish between β/γ and α particle interaction (i.e. the main source of background for 0nDBD experiments based on the bolometric technique). Results of pulse shape analysis of signals from several bolometers with absorbers of different compositions (CaMoO4, ZnMoO4, ZnSe) are presented and the pulse shape discrimination capability of such detectors is discussed. An explanation of this behavior, based on the energy partition in the heat and scintillation channels, is also presented. & 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Nason P.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Oleari C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2010

We present a next-to-leading order calculation of Higgs boson production in vector-boson fusion processes interfaced to shower Monte Carlo programs, implemented according to the POWHEG method. © 2010 SISSA.

Reissig A.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Gramegna A.,University of Milan | Aliberti S.,University of Milan Bicocca
European Journal of Internal Medicine | Year: 2012

CAP may be diagnosed and followed up by lung sonography (LUS), a technique that shows excellent sensitivity and specificity that is at least comparable with that of chest X-ray in two planes. LUS may be performed with any abdomen-sonography device. Therefore, LUS is a readily available diagnostic tool that does not involve radiation exposure and has wide applications especially in situations where X-ray is not available and/or not applicable. An X-ray or CT of the chest should be performed in cases of negative lung sonography and if other differential diagnoses or complications are suspected. © 2012 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Hristov K.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hristov K.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Toldo C.,University Utrecht | Vandoren S.,University Utrecht
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We determine the thermodynamic properties of a class of spherically symmetric and static black holes in AdS4 with magnetic charges and scalar hair. These black holes are solutions in four-dimensional N=2 gauged supergravity that can arise from 11-dimensional supergravity compactified on S7. At zero temperature, they preserve supersymmetry and hence are stable. At nonzero temperatures, we explore in detail the canonical ensemble and stability of solutions and find a first-order phase transition between small and large hairy black holes. The transition emerges as a liquid-gas phase transition in the dual three-dimensional field theory on R×S2 with magnetic flux through S2. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Gironi L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gironi L.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2010

In the field of Double Beta Decay (DBD) searches, the use of high resolution detectors in which background can be actively discriminated is very appealing. Scintillating bolometers containing a Double Beta Decay emitter can largely fulfill this very interesting possibility. In this paper we present the latest results obtained with CdWO4 and CaMoO4 crystals. Moreover we report, for the first time, a very interesting feature of CaMoO 4 bolometers: the possibility to discriminate β-γ events from those induced by α particles thanks to different thermal pulse shape. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Del Zotto M.,Jefferson Lab | Heckman J.J.,Jefferson Lab | Heckman J.J.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Tomasiello A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Vafa C.,Jefferson Lab
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

A single M5-brane probing G, an ADE-type singularity, leads to a system which has G × G global symmetry and can be viewed as “bifundamental” (G, G) matter. For the AN series, this leads to the usual notion of bifundamental matter. For the other cases it corresponds to a strongly interacting (1, 0) superconformal system in six dimensions. Similarly, an ADE singularity intersecting the Hořava-Witten wall leads to a superconformal matter system with E8 × G global symmetry. Using the F-theory realization of these theories, we elucidate the Coulomb/tensor branch of (G, G′) conformal matter. This leads to the notion of fractionalization of an M5-brane on an ADE singularity as well as fractionalization of the intersection point of the ADE singularity with the Hořava-Witten wall. Partial Higgsing of these theories leads to new 6d SCFTs in the infrared, which we also characterize. This generalizes the class of (1, 0) theories which can be perturbatively realized by suspended branes in IIA string theory. By reducing on a circle, we arrive at novel duals for 5d affine quiver theories. Introducing many M5-branes leads to large N gravity duals. © 2015, The Author(s).

Ce M.,Normal School of Pisa | Ce M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Consonni C.,University of Trento | Engel G.P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Giusti L.,University of Milan Bicocca
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

We study the topological charge distribution of the SU(3) Yang-Mills theory with high precision in order to be able to detect deviations from Gaussianity. The computation is carried out on the lattice with high statistics Monte Carlo simulations by implementing a naive discretization of the topological charge evolved with the Yang-Mills gradient flow. This definition is far less demanding than the one suggested from Neuberger's fermions and, as shown in this paper, in the continuum limit its cumulants coincide with those of the universal definition appearing in the chiral Ward identities. Thanks to the range of lattice volumes and spacings considered, we can extrapolate the results for the second and fourth cumulant of the topological charge distribution to the continuum limit with confidence by keeping finite volume effects negligible with respect to the statistical errors. Our best results for the topological susceptibility is t02χ=6.67(7)×10-4, where t0 is a standard reference scale, while for the ratio of the fourth cumulant over the second, we obtain R=0.233(45). The latter is compatible with the expectations from the large Nc expansion, while it rules out the θ behavior of the vacuum energy predicted by the dilute instanton model. Its large distance from 1 implies that, in the ensemble of gauge configurations that dominate the path integral, the fluctuations of the topological charge are of quantum nonperturbative nature. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Rota A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rota A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Tomasiello A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Tomasiello A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: We find new classes of AdS4 solutions with localized branes and orientifolds, both analytic and numerical. We start with an Ansatz for the pure spinors inspired by a recently found class of AdS7 × M3 solutions in massive IIA; we replace the AdS7 by AdS4 × Σ3, and we fibre M3 over Σ3 in a way inspired by a field theory SU(2) twist. We are able to reduce the problem to a system of five ODEs; a further Ansatz reduces them to three. Their solutions can be bijectively mapped to the AdS7 solutions via a simple universal map. This also allows to find a simple analytic form for these solutions. They are naturally interpreted as twisted compactifications of the (1, 0) CFT6’s dual to the AdS7 solutions. The larger system of five ODEs also admits more general numerical solutions, again with localized branes; regularity is achieved via an attractor mechanism. © 2015, The Author(s).

Hristov K.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hristov K.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Rota A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rota A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2015

Via a series of Kaluza-Klein (KK) and Scherk-Schwarz (SS) compactifications we relate BPS attractors and their complete (in general non-BPS) flows to a Minkowski vacuum in gauged supergravities with vanishing scalar potential in 4, 5, and 6 dimensions. This way we can look at a class of extremal non-BPS black holes and strings from IIB string theory viewpoint, keeping 4 supercharges on the horizon. Our results imply the existence of a dual 2d N= (0, 2) superconformal field theory (SCFT) that originates from a parent N= (4, 4) theory living on a D1-D5 system. This is achieved starting from the BPS black string in 6d with an AdS3×S3 attractor and taking two different routes to arrive at a 1/2 BPS AdS2×S2 attractor of a non-BPS black hole in 4d N=2 flat gauged supergravity. The two inequivalent routes interchange the order of KK reduction on AdS3 and SS reduction on S3. We also find the commutator between the two operations after performing a duality transformation: on the level of the theory the result is the exchange of electric with magnetic gaugings; on the level of the solution we find a flip of the quartic invariant I4 to -I4. © 2015.

Benini F.,University of Amsterdam | Benini F.,Imperial College London | Zaffaroni A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zaffaroni A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

We provide a general formula for the partition function of three-dimensional (formula presented) gauge theories placed on S2 ×S1 with a topological twist along S2, which can be interpreted as an index for chiral states of the theories immersed in background magnetic fields. The result is expressed as a sum over magnetic fluxes of the residues of a meromorphic form which is a function of the scalar zero-modes. The partition function depends on a collection of background magnetic fluxes and fugacities for the global symmetries. We illustrate our formula in many examples of 3d Yang-Mills-Chern-Simons theories with matter, including Aharony and Giveon-Kutasov dualities. Finally, our formula generalizes to Ω-backgrounds, as well as two-dimensional theories on S2 and four-dimensional theories on S2 × T2. In particular this provides an alternative way to compute genus-zero A-model topological amplitudes and Gromov-Witten invariants. © 2015, The Author(s).

Cremonesi S.,Imperial College London | Hanany A.,Imperial College London | Zaffaroni A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zaffaroni A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

This paper addresses a long standing problem - to identify the chiral ring and moduli space (i.e. as an algebraic variety) on the Coulomb branch of an N = 4 superconformal field theory in 2+1 dimensions. Previous techniques involved a computation of the metric on the moduli space and/or mirror symmetry. These methods are limited to sufficiently small moduli spaces, with enough symmetry, or to Higgs branches of sufficiently small gauge theories. We introduce a simple formula for the Hilbert series of the Coulomb branch, which applies to any good or ugly three-dimensional N = 4 gauge theory. The formula counts monopole operators which are dressed by classical operators, the Casimir invariants of the residual gauge group that is left unbroken by the magnetic flux. We apply our formula to several classes of gauge theories. Along the way we make various tests of mirror symmetry, successfully comparing the Hilbert series of the Coulomb branch with the Hilbert series of the Higgs branch of the mirror theory. © 2014 SISSA.

Katmadas S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Katmadas S.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

Abstract: We consider the flow equations for 1/4-BPS asymptotically AdS4 static black holes in Fayet-Iliopoulos gauged supergravity, using very special geometry identities to obtain a simplified form in the most general case. Under mild assumptions on the form of the solution, we analyse the flow equations and find an explicit solution for arbitrary gauging and charge vectors. Comparing with the corresponding attractor equations, we find that the solution is given in terms of exactly the same vector of parameters, implying that all regular attractors can be extended to full black hole solutions. We present explicit examples of black hole solutions with all complex scalars and allowed charges turned on, within the STU model and its truncations. © 2014, The Author(s).

Rossiello F.,IFOM Foundation FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology Foundation | Herbig U.,Rutgers University | Longhese M.P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fumagalli M.,IFOM Foundation FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology Foundation | And 3 more authors.
Current Opinion in Genetics and Development | Year: 2014

The DNA damage response (DDR) orchestrates DNA repair and halts cell cycle. If damage is not resolved, cells can enter into an irreversible state of proliferative arrest called cellular senescence. Organismal ageing in mammals is associated with accumulation of markers of cellular senescence and DDR persistence at telomeres. Since the vast majority of the cells in mammals are non-proliferating, how do they age? Are telomeres involved? Also oncogene activation causes cellular senescence due to altered DNA replication and DDR activation in particular at the telomeres. Is there a common mechanism shared among apparently distinct types of cellular senescence? And what is the role of telomeric DNA damage? © 2014 The Authors Elsevier Ltd.

Giusti L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Giusti L.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Pepe M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We propose a new strategy for determining the equation of state of a relativistic thermal quantum field theory by considering it in a moving reference system. In this frame, an observer can measure the entropy density of the system directly from its average total momentum. In the Euclidean path integral formalism, this amounts to computing the expectation value of the off-diagonal components T0k of the energy-momentum tensor in the presence of shifted boundary conditions. The entropy is, thus, easily measured from the expectation value of a local observable computed at the target temperature T only. At large T, the temperature itself is the only scale which drives the systematic errors, and the lattice spacing can be tuned to perform a reliable continuum limit extrapolation while keeping finite-size effects under control. We test this strategy for the four-dimensional SU(3) Yang-Mills theory. We present precise results for the entropy density and its step-scaling function in the temperature range 0.9Tc-20Tc. At each temperature, we consider four lattice spacings in order to extrapolate the results to the continuum limit. As a by-product, we also determine the ultraviolet finite renormalization constant of T0k by imposing suitable Ward identities. These findings establish this strategy as a solid, simple, and efficient method for an accurate determination of the equation of state of a relativistic thermal field theory over several orders of magnitude in T. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Rosa D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rosa D.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We derive the conditions for unbroken supersymmetry for a Mink2, (2, 0) vacuum, arising from Type II supergravity on a compact eight-dimensional manifold M8. When specialized to internal manifolds enjoying SU(4) × SU(4) structure the resulting system is elegantly rewritten in terms of generalized complex geometry. This particular class of vacua violates the correspondence between supersymmetry conditions and calibrations conditions of D branes (supersymmetry-calibrations correspondence). Our analysis includes and extends previous results about the failure of the supersymmetry-calibrations correspondence, and confirms the existence of a precise relation between such a failure and a subset of the supersymmetry conditions. © 2014 The Author(s).

Terranova F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Tino G.M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2014

The persistent aμ≡(g-2)/2 anomaly in the muon sector could be due to new physics visible in the electron sector through a sub-ppb (parts per 109) measurement of the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron ae. Driven by recent results on the electron mass [S. Sturm, Nature 506, 467 (2014)NATUAS0028-083610.1038/nature13026], we reconsider the sources of uncertainties that limit our knowledge of ae including current advances in atom interferometry. We demonstrate that it is possible to attain the level of precision needed to test aμ in the naive scaling hypothesis on a time scale similar to next-generation g-2 muon experiments at Fermilab and JPARC. In order to achieve this level of precision, knowledge of the quotient h/M, i.e., the ratio between the Planck constant and the mass of the atom employed in the interferometer, will play a crucial role. We identify the most favorable isotopes to achieve an overall relative precision below 10-10. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Cremonesi O.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Pavan M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Advances in High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

In the past ten years, neutrino oscillation experiments have provided the incontrovertible evidence that neutrinos mix and have finite masses. These results represent the strongest demonstration that the electroweak Standard Model is incomplete and that new Physics beyond it must exist. In this scenario, a unique role is played by the Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay searches which can probe lepton number conservation and investigate the Dirac/Majorana nature of the neutrinos and their absolute mass scale (hierarchy problem) with unprecedented sensitivity. Today Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay faces a new era where large-scale experiments with a sensitivity approaching the so-called degenerate-hierarchy region are nearly ready to start and where the challenge for the next future is the construction of detectors characterized by a tonne-scale size and an incredibly low background. A number of new proposed projects took up this challenge. These are based either on large expansions of the present experiments or on new ideas to improve the technical performance and/or reduce the background contributions. In this paper, a review of the most relevant ongoing experiments is given. The most relevant parameters contributing to the experimental sensitivity are discussed and a critical comparison of the future projects is proposed. © 2014 Oliviero Cremonesi and Maura Pavan.

Hristov K.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hristov K.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

Abstract: We relate across dimensions BPS attractors of black strings and black holes of various topology in gauged supergravities with nontrivial scalar potential. The attractors are of the form AdS2,3 × Σ2,3 in 4, 5, and 6 dimensions, and can be generalized to some higher dimensional analogs. Even though the attractor geometries admit standard Kaluza-Klein and Scherk-Schwarz reductions, their asymptotic AdS spaces in general do not. The resulting lower dimensional objects are black holes with runaway asymptotics in supergravity theories with no maximally symmetric vacua. Such classes of solutions are already known to exist in literature, and results here suggest an interpretation in terms of their higher-dimensional origin that often has a full string theory embedding. In a particular relevant example, the relation between 5d Benini-Bobev black strings [1, 2] and a class of 4d Cacciatori-Klemm black holes [3] is worked out in full detail, providing a type IIB and dual field theory description of the latter solutions. As a consistency check, the Cardy formula for the field theory is shown to match the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy for horizon topology of any genus. © 2014, The Author(s).

Brini A.,University of Geneva | Carlet G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rossi P.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena | Year: 2012

We study structural aspects of the Ablowitz-Ladik (AL) hierarchy in the light of its realization as a two-component reduction of the two-dimensional Toda hierarchy, and establish new results on its connection to the Gromov-Witten theory of local CP1. We first of all elaborate on the relation to the Toeplitz lattice and obtain a neat description of the Lax formulation of the AL system. We then study the dispersionless limit and rephrase it in terms of a conformal semisimple Frobenius manifold with non-constant unit, whose properties we thoroughly analyze. We build on this connection along two main strands. First of all, we exhibit a manifestly local bi-Hamiltonian structure of the Ablowitz-Ladik system in the zero-dispersion limit. Second, we make precise the relation between this canonical Frobenius structure and the one that underlies the Gromov-Witten theory of the resolved conifold in the equivariantly Calabi-Yau case; a key role is played by Dubrovin's notion of "almost duality" of Frobenius manifolds. As a consequence, we obtain a derivation of genus zero mirror symmetry for local CP1 in terms of a dual logarithmic Landau-Ginzburg model. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bellotti E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Broggini C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Di Carlo G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Laubenstein M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Menegazzo R.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2012

Starting from June 2011, the activity of a 137Cs source has been measured by means of a HPGe detector installed deep underground in the Gran Sasso Laboratory. Over 5100 hourly recorded energy spectra have been collected in 217 days. These data allowed the search for time variations of the decay constant with periods from a few hours to 1 year. No signal with amplitude larger than 9.6{dot operator}10 -5 at 95% C.L. has been detected. These limits are more than one order of magnitude lower than the values on the oscillation amplitude reported in literature. In particular, for 1 year period an oscillation amplitude larger than 8.5{dot operator}10 -5 has been excluded at 95% C.L., independently of the phase. The same data give a value of 29.96±0.08 years for the 137Cs half-life, in good agreement with the world mean value of 30.05±0.08 years. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Biassoni M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Biassoni M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Martinez C.,Queen's University
Astroparticle Physics | Year: 2012

Presently, there are several experimental setups dedicated to rare event searches, such as dark matter interactions or double beta decay, in the building or commissioning phases. These experiments often use large mass detectors and have excellent performance in terms of energy resolution, low threshold and extremely low backgrounds. In this paper we show that these setups have the possibility to exploit coherent scattering on nuclei to detect neutrinos from galactic supernova explosions, thus enlarging the number of early detection "observatories" available and helping in the collection of valuable data to perform flavour-independent studies of neutrinos' emission spectra.© 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bossard G.,Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau | Katmadas S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Katmadas S.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

Abstract: We present a new solvable system, solving the equations of five-dimensional ungauged N = 1 supergravity coupled to vector multiplets, that allows for non-extremal solutions and reduces to a known system when restricted to the floating brane Ansatz. A two-centre globally hyperbolic smooth geometry is obtained as a solution to this system, describing a bubble linking a Gibbons-Hawking centre to a charged bolt. However this solution turns out to violate the BPS bound, and we show that its generalisation to an arbitrary number of Gibbons-Hawking centres never admits a spin structure. © 2014, The Author(s).

Fareghbal R.,Shahid Beheshti University | Fareghbal R.,Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences | Hosseini S.M.,Shahid Beheshti University | Hosseini S.M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hosseini S.M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

We study the asymptotically flat rotating hairy black hole solution of a three-dimensional gravity theory which is given by taking the flat-space limit (zero cosmological constant limit) of new massive gravity. We propose that the dual field theory of the flat-space limit of new massive gravity can be described by a contracted conformal field theory which is invariant under the action of the BMS3 group. Using the flat/contracted conformal field theory correspondence, we construct a stress tensor which yields the conserved charges of the asymptotically flat black hole solution. We check that our expressions of the mass and angular momentum fit with the first law of black hole thermodynamics. Furthermore, by taking the appropriate limit of the Cardy formula in the parent conformal field theory, we find a Cardy-like formula which reproduces the Wald's entropy of the 3D asymptotically flat black hole. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Jezo T.,University of Milan Bicocca | Nason P.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: In this work we present a new subtraction method for next-to-leading order calculations that is particularly convenient even when narrow resonances are present. The method is particularly suitable for the implementation of next-to-leading order calculations matched to parton shower generators. It allows at the same time for the inclusion of all finite width effects, including interferences, and for a consistent treatment of resonances in the shower approach, preserving the mass of resonances near their peak. We implement our method, in a fully general and automatic way, within the POWHEG BOX framework, and illustrate it using as a test case the process of pp → μ+νμjbj, that is dominated by t-channel single top production. © 2015, The Author(s).

Butera P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Pernici M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2012

High-temperature expansions are presently the only viable approach to the numerical calculation of the higher susceptibilities for the spin and the scalar-field models on high-dimensional lattices. The critical amplitudes of these quantities enter into a sequence of universal amplitude ratios that determine the critical equation of state. We have obtained a substantial extension, through order 24, of the high-temperature expansions of the free energy (in presence of a magnetic field) for the Ising models with spin s≥1/2 and for the lattice scalar-field theory with quartic self-interaction on the simple-cubic and the body-centered-cubic lattices in four, five, and six spatial dimensions. A numerical analysis of the higher susceptibilities obtained from these expansions yields results consistent with the widely accepted ideas, based on the renormalization group and the constructive approach to Euclidean quantum field theory, concerning the no-interaction ("triviality") property of the continuum (scaling) limit of spin-s Ising and lattice scalar-field models at and above the upper critical dimensionality. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Butera P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Pernici M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011

We have substantially extended the high-temperature and low-magnetic-field (and the related low-temperature and high-magnetic-field) bivariate expansions of the free energy for the conventional three-dimensional Ising model and for a variety of other spin systems generally assumed to belong to the same critical universality class. In particular, we have also derived the analogous expansions for the Ising models with spin s=1,3/2,... and for the lattice Euclidean scalar-field theory with quartic self-interaction, on the simple-cubic and the body-centered-cubic lattices. Our bivariate high-temperature expansions, which extend through 24th order, enable us to compute, through the same order, all higher derivatives of the free energy with respect to the field, namely, all higher susceptibilities. These data make more accurate checks possible, in critical conditions, both of the scaling and the universality properties with respect to the lattice and the interaction structure and also help to improve an approximate parametric representation of the critical equation of state for the three-dimensional Ising model universality class. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Butera P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Pernici M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2012

We have extended, in most cases through 24th order, the series expansions of the dimer density in powers of the activity in the case of bipartite [(hyper)-simple-cubic and (hyper)-body-centered-cubic] lattices of dimensionalities 2≤d≤7. A numerical analysis of these data yields estimates of the exponents characterizing the Yang-Lee edge singularities for lattice ferromagnetic spin models as d varies between the lower and the upper critical dimensionalities. Our results are consistent with, but more extensive and sometimes more accurate than, those obtained from the existing dimer series or from the estimates of related exponents for lattice animals, branched polymers, and fluids. We mention also that it is possible to obtain estimates of the dimer constants from our series for the various lattices. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Butera P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Pernici M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2012

The high-temperature expansion coefficients of the ordinary and the higher susceptibilities of the spin-1/2 nearest-neighbor Ising model are calculated exactly up to the 20th order for the general d-dimensional (hyper)simple-cubical lattices. These series are analyzed to study the dependence of critical parameters on the lattice dimensionality. Using the general d expression of the ordinary susceptibility, we have more than doubled the length of the existing series expansion of the critical temperature in powers of 1/d. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Bellotti E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Broggini C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Di Carlo G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Laubenstein M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Menegazzo R.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2013

The decay rate of three different radioactive sources (40K, 137Cs and natTh) has been measured with NaI and Ge detectors. Data have been analyzed to search for possible variations in coincidence with the two strongest solar flares of the years 2011 and 2012. No significant deviations from standard expectation have been observed, with a few 10-4 sensitivity. As a consequence, we could not find any effect like that recently reported by Jenkins and Fischbach: a few per mil decrease in the decay rate of 54Mn during solar flares in December 2006. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Ulrich W.,Nicolaus Copernicus University | Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores
Ecography | Year: 2013

Species specific colonization abilities and biotic and abiotic filters influence the local and regional faunal composition along colonization trajectories. Using a recent compilation of the occurrences of 1373 darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae) species and subspecies in 49 European countries and major islands, we reconstructed the tenebrionid postglacial colonization of middle and northern Europe from southern European glacial refuges and linked species composition to latitudinal and longitudinal gradients in phylogenetic relatedness across Europe. The majority of European islands and mainland countries appeared to be phylogenetically clustered. We did not find significant latitudinal trends in average phylogenetic relatedness of regional faunas along the supposed postglacial colonization routes but detected a strong positive correlation between mean relatedness and longitude of mainland faunas and an opposite negative correlation for island faunas. The strength of phylogenetic relatedness in the regional tenebrionid faunas decreased significantly with latitude and to a lesser degree with longitude. These findings are in accordance with two trajectories of postglacial colonization from centres in Spain and middle Asia that caused a strong longitudinal trend in the phylogenetic relatedness. Subsequent pair-wise analyses of species co-occurrences showed that species of similar distributional ranges tend to be phylogenetically clustered and species of different spatial distribution to be phylogenetically segregated. Both findings are in accordance with the concept of 'range size heritability'. Our study demonstrates that taxonomic data are sufficiently powerful to infer continental wide patterns in phylogenetic relatedness that can be linked to colonization history and geographic information. © 2013 The Authors.

Klare C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Klare C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Zaffaroni A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zaffaroni A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2013

We study N = 2 superconformal theories on Euclidean and Lorentzian fourmanifolds with a view toward applications to holography and localization. The conditions for supersymmetry are equivalent to a set of differential constraints including a "generalised" conformal Killing spinor equation depending on various background fields. We solve these equations in the general case and give very explicit expressions for the auxiliary fields that we need to turn on to preserve some supersymmetry. As opposed to what has been observed for the N = 1 case, the conditions for unbroken supersymmetry turn out to be almost independent of the signature of spacetime, with the exception of few degenerate cases including the topological twist. Generically, the only geometrical constraint coming from supersymmetry is the existence of a conformal Killing vector on the manifold, all other constraints determine the background auxiliary fields. © SISSA 2013.

Hamilton K.,CERN | Nason P.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Oleari C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zanderighi G.,University of Oxford
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2013

We consider the POWHEG generator for a H/W/Z boson plus one jet, augmented with the recently proposed MiNLO method for the choice of scales and the inclusion of Sudakov form factors. Within this framework, the generator covers all the transverse- momentum region of the H/W/Z boson, i.e. no generation cuts are needed to obtain a finite result. By construction, the generator achieves NLO accuracy for distributions involving a finite (and relatively large) transverse momentum of the boson. We examine the conditions under which also the totally inclusive distributions (e.g. the boson rapidity distribution) achieve NLO accuracy. We find that a minimal modification of the MiNLO prescription is sufficient to achieve such accuracy. We thus construct a NLO generator for H/W/Z boson plus one jet production such that it smoothly merges into a NLO single boson production in the small transverse-momentum region. We notice that, by simply reweighting the boson rapidity distribution to NNLO predictions, we achieve a NNLO accurate generator matched to a shower. The approach applies to all production processes involving a colorless massive system plus one jet. We discuss how it may be extended to general processes. © 2013 SISSA.

Francesco Ficetola G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bonin A.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2011

Genetic variation supplies the raw material for adaptation, evolution and survival of populations and has therefore been a key focus of conservation biology ever since its foundation (Soulé 1985). In previous decades, the neutral component of genetic diversity (generated by mutation and shaped by drift) has been the subject of intense scientific research, fuelled by the increasing availability of molecular markers. On the other hand, the adaptive component of genetic diversity, which is shaped by the action of natural selection, has long remained elusive and difficult to assess, especially at small spatial or temporal scales (Ouborg 2010). Fortunately, new technological and methodological developments now make it possible to identify loci in the genome that are influenced by selection, and thus to get a more complete view of genetic diversity. One article featured in this issue of Molecular Ecology is a good example of this recent breakthrough. Richter-Boix (2011) examined a network of moor frog populations breeding in contrasting habitats in order to understand how landscape features influence patterns of genetic variation. They combined information from both neutral markers and loci putatively under selection to quantify the relative roles of selection and isolation in the evolution of fine-scale local adaptations in these populations. This study nicely illustrates how data on polymorphisms of neutral and adaptive loci can now be judiciously synthesized to help identify the best strategies for preserving adaptive variation, and more generally to enlighten conservation and population-management plans. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Ceccon M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mologni L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bisson W.,University of Geneva | Scapozza L.,University of Geneva | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Research | Year: 2013

The dual ALK/MET inhibitor crizotinib was recently approved for the treatment of metastatic and late-stage ALK+ NSCLC, and is currently in clinical trial for other ALK-related diseases. As predicted after other tyrosine kinase inhibitors' clinical experience, the first mutations that confer resistance to crizotinib have been described in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and in one patient inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT). Here, we focused our attention on the anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), where the oncogenic fusion protein NPM-ALK, responsible for 70% to 80% of cases, represents an ideal crizotinib target. We selected and characterized 2 human NPM-ALK+ ALCL cell lines, KARPAS-299 and SUP-M2, able to survive and proliferate at different crizotinib concentrations. Sequencing of ALK kinase domain revealed that a single mutation became predominant at high crizotinib doses in each cell line, namely L1196Q and I1171N in Karpas-299 and SUP-M2 cells, respectively. These mutations also conferred resistance to crizotinib in Ba/F3 cells expressing human NPMALK. The resistant cell populations, as well as mutated Ba/F3 cells, were characterized for sensitivity to two additional ALK inhibitors: the dual ALK/EGFR inhibitor AP26113 and NVP-TAE684. While L1196Q-positive cell lines were sensitive to both inhibitors, cells carrying I1171N substitution showed cross-resistance to all ALK inhibitors tested. This study provides potentially relevant information for the management of patients with ALCL that may relapse after crizotinib treatment. Mol Cancer Res; 11(2); 122-32. © 2012 AACR.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-PE2 | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2014

HOLMES is aimed at directly measuring the electron neutrino mass using the electron capture (EC) decay of 163Ho. The measurement of the absolute neutrino mass represents a major breakthrough in particle physics and cosmology. Due to their abundance as big-bang relics, massive neutrinos strongly affect the large-scale structure and dynamics of the universe. In addition, the knowledge of the scale of neutrino masses, together with their hierarchy pattern, is invaluable to clarify the origin of fermion masses beyond the Higgs mechanism. The innovative approach of HOLMES consists in the calorimetric measurement of the energy released in the decay of 163Ho. In this way, all the atomic de-excitation energy is measured, except that carried away by the neutrino. A finite neutrino mass m causes a deformation of the energy spectrum which is truncated at Q-m, where Q is the EC transition energy. The sensitivity depends on Q - the lower the Q, the higher the sensitivity - and 163Ho is an ideal isotope with a Q around 2.5keV. The direct measurement exploits only energy and momentum conservation, and it is therefore completely model-independent. At the same time, the calorimetric measurement eliminates systematic uncertainties arising from the use of external beta sources, as in neutrino mass measurements with beta spectrometers, and minimizes the effect of the atomic de-excitation process uncertainties. HOLMES will deploy a large array of low temperature microcalorimeters with implanted 163Ho nuclei. The resulting mass sensitivity will be as low as 0.4eV. HOLMES will be an important step forward in the direct neutrino mass measurement with a calorimetric approach as an alternative to spectrometry. It will also establish the potential of this approach to extend the sensitivity down to 0.1eV. The detection techniques developed for HOLMES will have an impact in many frontier fields as astrophysics, material analysis, nuclear safety, archeometry, quantum communication.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2014

The main S&T objective of CATSENSE is to design novel high performance catalysts and biosensors by a new interactive approach combining i. the production of mono and bi-metallic gas-phase clusters of controlled homogeneity, ii. the extensive characterisation of their morphology, structure (ex and in situ) and optical properties, iii. theoretical modelling and screening, and iv. catalytic and biosensing laboratory tests. Prototypes of the most promising catalyst and biosensor will be tested in realistic operative conditions through intense collaboration with our industrial partners. Biosensing and Catalysis applications are of paramount importance in Europe nowadays and are directly related to core issues of the Renewed Lisbon strategy, i.e, Health and Environment, respectively. Combining these technologies in a new supra-discipline of cluster-based nanotechnology will allow CATSENSE to contribute to the challenges that nanotechnology is now facing in Europe: a poor commercialisation track record of new discoveries and a shortage of adequately trained professionals. The training program will deliver nanotechnology experts corresponding to the need of the job market through a multi-level interdisciplinary and intersectorial network. The balanced program combines local expert training by academia and industrial partners, a network-wide secondment scheme, and a dense seminar, workshop and school schedule.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2012.4.0-1 | Award Amount: 3.71M | Year: 2013

The demand for aesthetically integrated photovoltaic materials is increasing steadily in many industries. A growing number of designers, architects and industrial manufacturers across the world share a common interest in using Photovoltaics (PV) as a decentralized and sustainable source of energy in their product designs. Developing markets such as sustainable housing, temporary building structures, outdoor activities, electro-mobility and mobile computing will drive the demand for decentralized, attractive energy solutions. For solar powered products are customisable shapes, sizes, colours, transparencies or specific electrical properties required, which have a decisive influence on the acceptance on the market. Therefore a new breed of solar technologies is necessary. To achieve this goal new flexible production processes and materials need to be developed. A novel manufacturing process will enable the adjustment of all properties of a thin-film module on-the-fly and facilitate the production of customized photovoltaic modules with the desired voltage, size and shape. Combined with the material characteristics given by the underlying thin-film solar cell technology a new-breed of design-led, sustainable and decentralised energy solutions can be realized. Furthermore the designer or architect who wants to incorporate solar electricity into his work needs a service environment to be assisted in the creative process. Tools should support the designer in conceiving, planning and producing the solar design products. This project will address the above mentioned challenges by exploring and developing new materials, manufacturing and business processes in PV powered product design and architecture.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.5.2 | Award Amount: 5.87M | Year: 2008

Serious adverse effects resulting from the treatment with thalidomide prompted modern drug legislation more than 40 years ago. Post-marketing spontaneous reporting systems for suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) have been a cornerstone to detect safety signals in pharmacovigilance. It has become evident that adverse effects of drugs may be detected too late, when millions of persons have already been exposed.In this project, an alternative approach for the detection of ADR signals will be developed. Rather than relying on the physicians capability and willingness to recognize and report suspected ADRs, the system will systematically calculate the occurrence of disease (potentially ADRs) during specific drug use based on data available in electronic patient records. In this project, electronic health records (EHRs) of over 30 million patients from several European countries will be available. In an environment where rapid signal detection is feasible, rapid signal assessment is equally important. To rapidly assess signals, a number of resources will be used to substantiate the signals: causal reasoning based on information in the EHRs, semantic mining of the biomedical literature, and computational analysis of biological and chemical information (drugs, targets, anti-targets, SNPs, pathways, etc.).The overall objective of this project is the design, development and validation of a computerized system that exploits data from electronic healthcare records and biomedical databases for the early detection of adverse drug reactions. The EU-ADR system will generate signals using data and text mining, epidemiological and other computational techniques, and subsequently substantiate these signals in the light of current knowledge of biological mechanisms and in silico prediction capabilities. The system should be able to detect signals better and faster than spontaneous reporting systems and should allow for identification of subpopulations at higher risk for ADRs.

Pillozzi S.,University of Florence | Becchetti A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Stem Cells International | Year: 2012

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in bone marrow niches and give rise to hematopoietic precursor cells (HPCs). These have more restricted lineage potential and eventually differentiate into specific blood cell types. Bone marrow also contains mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), which present multilineage differentiation potential toward mesodermal cell types. In bone marrow niches, stem cell interaction with the extracellular matrix is mediated by integrin receptors. Ion channels regulate cell proliferation and differentiation by controlling intracellular Ca2+, cell volume, release of growth factors, and so forth. Although little evidence is available about the ion channel roles in true HSCs, increasing information is available about HPCs and MSCs, which present a complex pattern of K+ channel expression. K+ channels cooperate with Ca2+ and Cl - channels in regulating calcium entry and cell volume during mitosis. Other K+ channels modulate the integrin-dependent interaction between leukemic progenitor cells and the niche stroma. These channels can also regulate leukemia cell interaction with MSCs, which also involves integrin receptors and affects the MSC-mediated protection from chemotherapy. Ligand-gated channels are also implicated in these processes. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors regulate cell proliferation and migration in HSCs and MSCs and may be implicated in the harmful effects of smoking. © 2012 Serena Pillozzi and Andrea Becchetti.

Cucinotta C.S.,College Green Dublin | Cucinotta C.S.,Computational Sciences, LLC | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parrinello M.,Computational Sciences, LLC
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

By means of abinitio simulations we here provide a comprehensive scenario for hydrogen oxidation reactions at the Ni/zirconia anode of solid oxide fuel cells. The simulations have also revealed that in the presence of water chemisorbed at the oxide surface, the active region for H oxidation actually extends beyond the metal/zirconia interface unraveling the role of water partial pressure in the decrease of the polarization resistance observed experimentally. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Ciucci D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Dubois D.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Proceedings of The International Symposium on Multiple-Valued Logic | Year: 2010

This paper investigates the significance of truth-functional three valued logics of ill-known sets described by pairs of disjoint (or pairs of nested) subsets. In particular the case of three-valued logics of rough sets is studied in more details, showing that, while the mathematical underpinnings are sound, the relevance of these logics for reasoning about data-tables containing incomplete descriptions of objects is questionable. © 2010 IEEE.

Silvestri F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Silvestri F.,ETH Zurich | Marrocchi A.,University of Perugia
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2010

Fossil fuel alternatives, such as solar energy, are moving to the forefront in a variety of research fields. Organic photovoltaic systems hold the promise of a lightweight, flexible, cost-effective solar energy conversion platform, which could benefit from simple solution-processing of the active layer. The discovery of semiconductive polyacetylene by Heeger et al. in the late 1970s was a milestone towards the use of organic materials in electronics; the development of efficient protocols for the palladium catalyzed alkynylation reactions and the new conception of steric and conformational advantages of acetylenes have been recently focused the attention on conjugated triple-bond containing systems as a promising class of semiconductors for OPVs applications. We review here the most important and representative (poly)arylacetylenes that have been used in the field. A general introduction to (poly)arylacetylenes, and the most common synthetic approaches directed toward making these materials will be firstly given. After a brief discussion on working principles and critical parameters of OPVs, we will focus on molecular arylacetylenes, (co)polymers containing triple bonds, and metallopolyyne polymers as p-type semiconductor materials. The last section will deal with hybrids in which oligomeric/polymeric structures incorporating acetylenic linkages such as phenylene ethynylenes have been attached onto C60, and their use as the active materials in photovoltaic devices. © 2010 by the authors.

Belgiorno F.,University of Milan | Cacciatori S.L.,University of Insubria | Ortenzi G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Sala V.G.,University of Insubria | Faccio D.,University of Insubria
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We analyze in detail photon production induced by a superluminal refractive-index perturbation in realistic experimental operating conditions. The interaction between the refractive-index perturbation and the quantum vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field leads to the production of photon pairs. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

D'Arienzo M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ruffo R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Scotti R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Morazzoni F.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 2 more authors.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2012

The present study reports on the synthesis and the electrochemical behavior of Na 0.71CoO 2, a promising candidate as cathode for Na-based batteries. The material was obtained in two different morphologies by a double-step route, which is cheap and easy to scale up: the hydrothermal synthesis to produce Co 3O 4 with tailored and nanometric morphology, followed by the solid-state reaction with NaOH, or alternatively with Na 2CO 3, to promote Na intercalation. Both products are highly crystalline and have the P2-Na 0.71CoO 2 crystal phase, but differ in the respective morphologies. The material obtained from Na 2CO 3 have a narrow particle length (edge to edge) distribution and 2D platelet morphology, while those from NaOH exhibit large microcrystals, irregular in shape, with broad particle length distribution and undefined exposed surfaces. Electrochemical analysis shows the good performances of these materials as a positive electrode for Na-ion half cells. In particular, Na 0.71CoO 2 thin microplatelets exhibit the best behavior with stable discharge specific capacities of 120 and 80 mAh g -1 at 5 and 40 mA g -1, respectively, in the range 2.0-3.9 V vs. Na +/Na. These outstanding properties make this material a promising candidate to construct viable and high-performance Na-based batteries. This journal is © the Owner Societies 2012.

Fossati M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gavazzi G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Boselli A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Fumagalli M.,University of California at Santa Cruz
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

In a five hour Hα exposure of the northwest region of the Coma cluster with the 2.1 m telescope at San Pedro Martir (Mx), we discovered a 65 kpc cometary emission of ionized gas trailing behind the SBab galaxy NGC 4848. The tail points in the opposite direction of the cluster center, in the same direction where stripped HI had been detected in previous observations. The galaxy shows bright HII regions in an inner ring-like pattern, where the star formation takes place at the prodigious rate of ∼8.9 M · yr -1. From the morphologies of the galaxy and the trailing material, we infer that the galaxy is suffering from ram pressure due to its high velocity motion through the intergalactic medium. We estimate that ∼4 × 10 9 M · of gas is swept out from the galaxy forming the tail. Given the ambient conditions in the Coma cluster (ρ 0 = 6.3 × 10 -27 g cm -3; σ vel = 940 km s -1), simulations predict that the ram pressure mechanism is able to remove such an amount of gas in less than 200 Myr. This, combined with the geometry of the interaction, is indicative of radial infall into the cluster, leading to the conclusion that NGC 4848 has been caught during its first passage through the dense cluster environment. © 2012 ESO.

Mologni L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Brussolo S.,University of Venice | Ceccon M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gambacorti-Passerini C.,University of Milan Bicocca
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Activation of Wnt signalling due to inability to degrade β-catenin is found in >85% of colorectal cancers. Approximately half of colon cancers express a constitutively active KRAS protein. A significant fraction of patients show both abnormalities. We previously reported that simultaneous down-regulation of both β-catenin and KRAS was necessary to induce significant cell death and tumor growth inhibition of colorectal cancer cells. Although attractive, an RNAi-based therapeutic approach is still far from being employed in the clinical setting. Therefore, we sought to recapitulate our previous findings by the use of small-molecule inhibitors of β-catenin and KRAS. We show here that the β-catenin inhibitors PKF115-584 and pyrvinium pamoate block β-catenin-dependent transcriptional activity and synergize with the KRAS inhibitor S-trans, trans-farnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS, salirasib) in colon cancer cells driven by Wnt and KRAS oncogenic signals, but not in cells carrying BRAF mutations. The combined use of these compounds was superior to the use of any drug alone in inducing cell growth arrest, cell death, MYC and survivin down-modulation, and inhibition of anchorage-independent growth. Expression analysis of selected cancer-relevant genes revealed down-regulation of CD44 as a common response to the combined treatments. These data provide a proof of principle for a combination therapeutic strategy in colorectal cancer. © 2012 Mologni et al.

Lauria A.,ETH Zurich | Villa I.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fasoli M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Niederberger M.,ETH Zurich | Vedda A.,University of Milan Bicocca
ACS Nano | Year: 2013

In this work a strategy for the control of structure and optical properties of inorganic luminescent oxide-based nanoparticles is presented. The nonaqueous sol-gel route is found to be suitable for the synthesis of hafnia nanoparticles and their doping with rare earths (RE) ions, which gives rise to their luminescence either under UV and X-ray irradiation. Moreover, we have revealed the capability of the technique to achieve the low-temperature stabilization of the cubic phase through the effective incorporation of trivalent RE ions into the crystal lattice. Particular attention has been paid to doping with europium, causing a red luminescence, and with lutetium. Structure and morphology characterization by XRD, TEM/SEM, elemental analysis, and Raman/IR vibrational spectroscopies have confirmed the occurrence of the HfO2 cubic polymorph for dopant concentrations exceeding a threshold value of nominal 5 mol %, for either Lu3+ or Eu3+. The optical properties of the nanopowders were investigated by room temperature radio- and photoluminescence experiments. Specific features of Eu3+ luminescence sensitive to the local crystal field were employed for probing the lattice modifications at the atomic scale. Moreover, we detected an intrinsic blue emission, allowing for a luminescence color switch depending on excitation wavelength in the UV region. We also demonstrate the possibility of changing the emission spectrum by multiple RE doping in minor concentration, while deputing the cubic phase stabilization to a larger concentration of optically inactive Lu3+ ions. The peculiar properties arising from the solvothermal nonaqueous synthesis here used are described through the comparison with thermally treated powders. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Calderone G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Calderone G.,National institute for astrophysics | Sbarrato T.,University of Insubria | Sbarrato T.,National institute for astrophysics | Ghisellini G.,National institute for astrophysics
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2012

We selected all radio-quiet active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the latest release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasar catalogue, with redshift in the range 0.56-0.73. About 4000 (~80 per cent) of these have been detected in all four infrared bands of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). This is the largest sample suitable to study the disc-torus connection. We find that the torus reprocesses on average ~1/3-1/2 of the accretion disc luminosity. © 2012 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS.

Conti C.,University of Florence | Romani L.,University of Milan Bicocca
BIT Numerical Mathematics | Year: 2010

A general affine combination of B-spline subdivision masks is here considered with the aim of generating new subdivision schemes with enhanced properties. This will be done using either stationary or non-stationary coefficients combining both B-splines and their non-stationary counterparts. © Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2010.

Campi D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Benedek G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Benedek G.,Donostia International Physics Center
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2012

The bulk and surface dynamics of Sb(111) and the corresponding electron-phonon interaction have been calculated by density functional perturbation theory. The surface phonon bands reveal features related to a remarkable stiffening of the surface bilayer with respect to the bulk ones. The main contribution to electron-phonon interaction involves transitions between surface and bulk states, mostly driven by bulk phonons, and is found to be in good agreement with the value derived from spin angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Bistacchi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Tibaldi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Pasquare F.A.,University of Insubria | Rust D.,University of Portsmouth
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2012

We present field data and numerical models that aid understanding of fundamental volcano-tectonic processes of inclined sheet and dyke propagation, and more in general of volcano internal growth, under a stress field resulting from the inflation of a shallow magma chamber. Structural field data from the classical Cuillins cone-sheet complex (Isle of Skye) show that sheets have a constant average dip angle (45°), with pure dilational or hybrid shear-dilational kinematics. Our elasto-plastic finite element models, which consider the total stress field including gravity, tectonics and magma overpressure, suggest that only in the case of an inflating oblate shallow magma chamber cone-sheets can be predicted. They do not develop with spherical or prolate magma chambers and/or under deflation. Radial dykes dominate beyond a critical distance of 1-1.2 diameters of the magma chamber, whilst cone-sheets are confined immediately above it. These results may be used to infer, from observations on the sheet and dyke pattern at surface, the geometry and tensional state of magma chambers under active volcanoes. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..

Engel G.P.,University of Graz | Engel G.P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Lang C.B.,University of Graz | Mohler D.,Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We present a study of baryon ground states and low lying excitations of nonstrange and strange baryons. The results are based on seven gauge field ensembles with two dynamical light chirally improved quarks corresponding to pion masses between 255 and 596 MeV and a strange valence quark with mass fixed by the Ω baryon. The lattice spacing varies between 0.1324 and 0.1398 fm. Given in lattice units, the bulk of our results are for size 163×32; for two ensembles with light pion masses (255 and 330 MeV) we also use 243×48 lattices and perform an infinite volume extrapolation. We derive energy levels for the spin 1/2 and 3/2 channels for both parities. In general, our results in the infinite volume limit compare well with experiment. We analyze the flavor symmetry content by identifying the singlet/octet/decuplet contributions of the resulting eigenstates. The ground states' compositions agree with quark model expectations. In some cases the excited states, however, disagree and we discuss possible reasons. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Caravati S.,ETH Zurich | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parrinello M.,ETH Zurich
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

Based on ab initio molecular-dynamics simulations, we generated models of liquid and amorphous Sb2 Te3 of interest for applications as phase change material in optical and electronic data storage. The local geometries of Sb and Te atoms in a -Sb2 Te3 are similar to that found in the extensively studied Ge2 Sb2 Te5 and GeTe phase change materials already exploited for nonvolatile memory applications. Analysis of the vibrational properties and electronic structure of a -Sb2 Te3 is presented and compared to the crystalline counterparts. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Frezzotti M.-L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Touret J.L.R.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Geoscience Frontiers | Year: 2014

This paper reviews the origin and evolution of fluid inclusions in ultramafic xenoliths, providing a framework for interpreting the chemistry of mantle fluids in the different geodynamic settings. Fluid inclusion data show that in the shallow mantle, at depths below about 100 km, the dominant fluid phase is CO2 ± brines, changing to alkali-, carbonate-rich (silicate) melts at higher pressures. Major solutes in aqueous fluids are chlorides, silica and alkalis (saline brines; 5-50 wt.% NaCl eq.). Fluid inclusions in peridotites record CO2 fluxing from reacting metasomatic carbonate-rich melts at high pressures, and suggest significant upper-mantle carbon outgassing over time. Mantle-derived CO2 (±brines) may eventually reach upper-crustal levels, including the atmosphere, independently from, and additionally to magma degassing in active volcanoes. © 2014, China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Caravati S.,ETH Zurich | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parrinello M.,ETH Zurich
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter | Year: 2010

We study from first principles the optical properties of the phase change materials Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST), GeTe and Sb 2Te3 in the crystalline phase and in realistic models of the amorphous phase generated by quenching from the melt in ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. The calculations reproduce the strong optical contrast between the crystalline and amorphous phases measured experimentally and exploited in optical data storage. It is demonstrated that the optical contrast is due to a change in the optical matrix elements across the phase change in all the compounds. It is concluded that the reduction of the optical matrix elements in the amorphous phases is due to angular disorder in p-bonding which dominates the amorphous network in agreement with previous proposals (Huang and Robertson 2010 Phys. Rev. B 81 081204) based on calculations on crystalline models. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Sosso G.C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Donadio D.,Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research | Caravati S.,ETH Zurich | Behler J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2012

We computed the thermal conductivity (κ) of amorphous GeTe by means of classical molecular dynamics and lattice dynamics simulations. GeTe is a phase change material of interest for applications in nonvolatile memories. An interatomic potential with close-to-ab initio accuracy was used as generated by fitting a huge ab initio database with a neural network method. It turns out that the majority of heat carriers are nonpropagating vibrations (diffusons), the small percentage of propagating modes giving a negligible contribution to the total value of κ. This result is in contrast with the properties of other amorphous semiconductors such as Si for which nonpropagating and propagating vibrations account for about one half of the value of κ each. This outcome suggests that the value of κ measured for the bulk amorphous phase can be used to model the thermal transport of GeTe and possibly of other materials in the same class also in nanoscaled memory devices. Actually, the contribution from propagating modes, which may endure ballistic transport at the scale of 10-20 nm, is negligible. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Bonetti M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bonetti M.,University of Insubria | Barausse E.,CNRS Paris Institute of Astrophysics
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

We study the post-Newtonian expansion of a class of Lorentz-violating gravity theories that reduce to khronometric theory (i.e. the infrared limit of Hořava gravity) in high-acceleration regimes and reproduce the phenomenology of modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) in the low-acceleration, nonrelativistic limit. Like in khronometric theory, Lorentz symmetry is violated in these theories by introducing a dynamical scalar field (the "khronon") whose gradient is enforced to be timelike. As a result, hypersurfaces of constant khronon define a preferred foliation of the spacetime, and the khronon can be thought of as a physical absolute time. The MOND phenomenology arises as a result of the presence, in the action, of terms depending on the acceleration of the congruence orthogonal to the preferred foliation. We find that if the theory is forced to reduce exactly to general relativity (rather than to khronometric theory) in the high-acceleration regime, the post-Newtonian expansion breaks down at low accelerations, and the theory becomes strongly coupled. Nevertheless, we identify a sizeable region of the parameter space where the post-Newtonian expansion remains perturbative for all accelerations, and the theory passes both Solar System and pulsar gravity tests, besides producing a MOND phenomenology for the rotation curves of galaxies. We illustrate this explicitly with a toy model of a system containing only baryonic matter but no dark matter. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Bianchi M.S.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Griguolo L.,University of Parma | Leoni M.,CONICET | Penati S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Seminara D.,University of Florence
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We study a family of circular BPS Wilson loops in N = 6 super Chern-Simons-matter theories, generalizing the usual 1/2-BPS circle. The scalar and fermionic couplings depend on two deformation parameters and these operators can be considered as the ABJ(M) counterpart of the DGRT latitudes defined in N = 4 SYM. We perform a complete two-loop analysis of their vacuum expectation value, discuss the appearance of framing-like phases and propose a general relation with cohomologically equivalent bosonic operators. We make an all-loop proposal for computing the Bremsstrahlung function associated to the 1/2-BPS cusp in terms of these generalized Wilson loops. When applied to our two-loop result it reproduces the known expression. Finally, we comment on the generalization of this proposal to the bosonic 1/6-BPS case. © 2014 The Author(s).

Gonchar A.,Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society | Risse T.,Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society | Risse T.,Free University of Berlin | Freund H.-J.,Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society | And 3 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2011

Distortion is the key: In situ EPR spectroscopy provides the first experimental confirmation that the adsorption of O2 molecules on a stoichiometric ultrathin MgO(001) film on Mo(001) leads to the spontaneous formation of O2 .- radicals. The results show that polaronic distortion of the MgO lattice (see picture; Mg yellow, O blue) stabilizes the radical, and this distortion is only possible in very thin films. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Garcon M.,Joseph Fourier University | Chauvel C.,Joseph Fourier University | France-Lanord C.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Limonta M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Garzanti E.,University of Milan Bicocca
Chemical Geology | Year: 2014

River sediments naturally sample and average large areas of eroded continental crust. They are ideal targets not only for provenance studies based on isotopic compositions, but also can be used to establish average continental crust isotopic values. In large fluvial systems, however, mineral sorting processes significantly modify the mineralogy, and thus the geochemistry of the transported sediments. We still do not know, in any quantitative way, to what extent mineral sorting affects and fractionates the isotopic compositions of river sediments. Here, we focus on this issue and try to decipher the role of each mineral species in the bulk isotopic compositions of bedloads and suspended loads sampled at the outflow of the Ganga River that drains the Himalayan mountain range.We analyzed Nd, Hf, Sr, and Pb isotopic compositions as well as trace element contents of a large number of pure mineral fractions (K-feldspar, plagioclase, muscovite, biotite, magnetite, zircon, titanite, apatite, monazite/allanite, amphibole, epidote, garnet, carbonate and clay) separated from bedload and bank sediments. We combine these data with mineral proportions typical of the Ganga sediments to perform Monte Carlo simulations that quantify the contributions of individual mineral species to the Nd, Hf, Sr, and Pb isotopic budgets of bedloads and suspended loads.The isotopic systematics of river sediments are buffered by very few minerals. Despite their extremely low proportions in sediments, zircon and monazite/allanite control Hf and Nd isotopes, respectively. Feldspars, epidote, and carbonate buffer the Sr isotopic budget while clay, feldspars, and heavy minerals dominate Pb isotopes. Hafnium, Sr, and Pb isotopic differences between bedloads and suspended loads are well explained by their different mineral compositions. This confirms that Hf, Sr and Pb isotopic compositions of sediments are strongly biased by mineral sorting processes during fluvial transport; hence they do not always constitute good proxies for provenance studies. In addition, we anticipate that fractionation of the isotopic systems continues at the river/ocean interface to deliver sediments to the deep ocean that are not necessarily similar to their crustal precursors, creating a systematic bias between the compositions of crustal sources and oceanic sediments. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Pacchioni G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Freund H.,Fritz Haber Insitut der MPG
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2013

Electron transfer (ET) is a fundamental process in physics, chemistry, and biology. Charge transfer determines phenomena like oxidation and reduction, bond activation and bond breaking in chemical reactions, formation of radical species, and charge transport and charge trapping in nanoelectronic devices, just to mention a few examples. ET processes are the basis of technologically relevant fields. One of the best characterized systems is MgO, a simple stoichiometric binary oxide with rock-salt structure, which exhibits well-defined surfaces and is stable under operating conditions. Despite this apparent simplicity, a lot of work spanning several decades has been necessary to unravel the atomistic details of reactivity of this material. When going from a (001) single crystal surface, where the number of such sites is negligible, to a powder sample, where these sites represent a significant fraction of the total exposed surface, one observes a complete change of reactivity, from totally inert to highly reactive.

Spreafico E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Caravati S.,ETH Zurich | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011

Based on ab initio molecular dynamics simulations, we generated models of liquid and amorphous InGeTe2 of interest for applications in electronic data storage. The local geometry of Ge and Te atoms in amorphous InGeTe2 is similar to that found in the extensively studied Ge 2Sb2Te5 and GeTe phase-change materials already exploited in nonvolatile memory applications. Atoms of In are instead mostly fourfold coordinated in InTe4 tetrahedra, similar to the elementary units of crystalline InTe and In2Te5. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Crestini C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Crucianelli M.,University of L'Aquila | Orlandi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Saladino R.,University of Tuscia
Catalysis Today | Year: 2010

Novel processing methods and product concepts are required to extend the role of lignin for future biomass and biofuel applications in emerging platforms such as the biorefinery. The possible strategies of lignin valorisation are focused into two main directions, namely the selective functionalisation of the lignin polymer or in its oxidative depolymerization to get polyfunctional monomeric compounds. Here we report a panel of biocatalysis, organometallic catalysis, biomimetic catalysis and plasma oxidation processes developed by our research group for the activation of the environmental friendly oxidants oxygen and hydrogen peroxide in the oxidative functionalisation of lignin and lignin model compounds. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Oza A.M.,Princess Margaret Cancer Center | Cibula D.,General University Hospital | Benzaquen A.O.,University of Barcelona | Poole C.,Coventry University | And 15 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2015

Background: The poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib has shown antitumour activity in patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent, high-grade serous ovarian cancer with or without BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and tolerability of olaparib in combination with chemotherapy, followed by olaparib maintenance monotherapy, versus chemotherapy alone in patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent, high-grade serous ovarian cancer. Methods: In this randomised, open-label, phase 2 study, adult patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent, high-grade serous ovarian cancer who had received up to three previous courses of platinum-based chemotherapy and who were progression free for at least 6 months before randomisation received either olaparib (200 mg capsules twice daily, administered orally on days 1-10 of each 21-day cycle) plus paclitaxel (175 mg/m2, administered intravenously on day 1) and carboplatin (area under the curve [AUC] 4 mg/mL per min, according to the Calvert formula, administered intravenously on day 1), then olaparib monotherapy (400 mg capsules twice daily, given continuously) until progression (the olaparib plus chemotherapy group), or paclitaxel (175 mg/m2 on day 1) and carboplatin (AUC 6 mg/mL per min on day 1) then no further treatment (the chemotherapy alone group). Randomisation was done by an interactive voice response system, stratified by number of previous platinum-containing regimens received and time to disease progression after the previous platinum regimen. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1, analysed by intention to treat. Prespecified exploratory analyses included efficacy by BRCA mutation status, assessed retrospectively. This study is registered with, number NCT01081951, and has been completed. Findings: Between Feb 12 and July 30, 2010, 173 patients at 43 investigational sites in 12 countries were enrolled into the study, of whom 162 were eligible and were randomly assigned to the two treatment groups (81 to the olaparib plus chemotherapy group and 81 to the chemotherapy alone group). Of these randomised patients, 156 were treated in the combination phase (81 in the olaparib plus chemotherapy group and 75 in the chemotherapy alone group) and 121 continued to the maintenance or no further treatment phase (66 in the olaparib plus chemotherapy group and 55 in the chemotherapy alone group). BRCA mutation status was known for 107 patients (either at baseline or determined retrospectively): 41 (38%) of 107 had a BRCA mutation (20 in the olaparib plus chemotherapy group and 21 in the chemotherapy alone group). Progression-free survival was significantly longer in the olaparib plus chemotherapy group (median 12·2 months [95% CI 9·7-15·0]) than in the chemotherapy alone group (median 9·6 months [95% CI 9·1-9·7) (HR 0·51 [95% CI 0·34-0·77]; p=0·0012), especially in patients with BRCA mutations (HR 0·21 [0·08-0·55]; p=0·0015). In the combination phase, adverse events that were reported at least 10% more frequently with olaparib plus chemotherapy than with chemotherapy alone were alopecia (60 [74%] of 81 vs 44 [59%] of 75), nausea (56 [69%] vs 43 [57%]), neutropenia (40 [49%] vs 29 [39%]), diarrhoea (34 [42%] vs 20 [27%]), headache (27 [33%] vs seven [9%]), peripheral neuropathy (25 [31%] vs 14 [19%]), and dyspepsia (21 [26%] vs 9 [12%]); most were of mild-to-moderate intensity. The most common grade 3 or higher adverse events during the combination phase were neutropenia (in 35 [43%] of 81 patients in the olaparib plus chemotherapy group vs 26 [35%] of 75 in the chemotherapy alone group) and anaemia (seven [9%] vs five [7%]). Serious adverse events were reported in 12 (15%) of 81 patients in the olaparib plus chemotherapy group and 16 of 75 (21%) patients in the chemotherapy alone group. Interpretation: Olaparib plus paclitaxel and carboplatin followed by maintenance monotherapy significantly improved progression-free survival versus paclitaxel plus carboplatin alone, with the greatest clinical benefit in BRCA-mutated patients, and had an acceptable and manageable tolerability profile. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Sosso G.C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Caravati S.,ETH Zurich | Mazzarello R.,ETH Zurich | Mazzarello R.,RWTH Aachen | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011

We computed the Raman spectrum of cubic and amorphous Ge2Sb 2Te5 (GST) by ab initio phonons and an empirical bond polarizability model. Models of the amorphous phase were generated by quenching from the melt by means of ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. The calculated spectra are in good agreement with experimental data which confirms the reliability of the models of the amorphous phase emerged from the simulations. All the features of the spectrum in both crystalline and amorphous GST can be assigned to vibrations of defective octahedra. The calculations reveal that the polarizability of the Sb-Te is much higher than that of Ge-Te bonds and of Ge-Ge/Sb wrong bonds resulting in a much lower Raman response of tetrahedra which are made of Ge-Te and wrong bonds. As a consequence and as opposed to amorphous GeTe, the signatures of tetrahedra in the Raman spectrum of amorphous GST are hidden by the larger Raman cross section of defective octahedra. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Halmagyi N.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Petrini M.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Zaffaroni A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2013

We study supersymmetric black holes in AdS 4 in the framework of four dimensional gauged N=2 supergravity coupled to hypermultiplets. We derive the flow equations for a general electrically gauged theory where the gauge group is Abelian and, restricting them to the fixed points, we derive the gauged supergravity analogue of the attractor equations for theories coupled to hypermultiplets. The particular models we analyze are consistent truncations of M-theory on certain Sasaki-Einstein seven-manifolds. We study the space of horizon solutions of the form AdS 2 × Σ g with both electric and magnetic charges and find a four-dimensional solution space when the theory arises from a reduction on Q 111. For other SE 7 reductions, the solutions space is a subspace of this. We construct explicit examples of spherically symmetric black holes numerically. © 2013 SISSA.

Narcisi B.,ENEA | Petit J.R.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Delmonte B.,University of Milan Bicocca
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2010

Three new tephra layers have been identified and analysed in the deeper sections of the EPICA Dome C (EDC) and Vostok ice record (East Antarctic plateau): one from EDC (358 ka old), originated from an Antarctic volcano, and two from Vostok (406 and 414 ka old, respectively), which are related to Antarctic volcanoes and to southern Andes and/or Antarctic Peninsula centres, respectively. These layers represent the oldest tephra-bearing events so far detected in deep polar ice cores and extend the regional tephrostratigraphic framework back to the fourth climatic cycle. Although differences between the drill sites are observed, new and previously published tephra data from deep ice cores broadly confirm that the clockwise circum-Antarctic atmospheric circulation played a major role in the dispersal of volcanic dust onto the plateau. While the last 220-ka core sections contain about a dozen visible tephra fall layers, the ice representing the time interval from 220 ka back to 800 ka (i.e. the EDC core bottom) is almost devoid of observed tephras. Although it is possible that the reduced frequency is an observational artefact, the observed pattern could alternatively reflect late Quaternary activity fluctuations of sources for tephra in the East Antarctic plateau, particularly South Sandwich Islands, with enhanced explosive activity in the last two glacial cycles with respect to previous periods. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Arcangeli A.,University of Florence | Arcangeli A.,Instituto Toscano Tumori ITT | Pillozzi S.,University of Florence | Becchetti A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

Leukemias, as other cancers, bear several genetic alterations of tumor-related genes, such as point mutations, translocations, epigenetic modifications, often accompanied by gene amplification or inactivation. The identification of tumor-related genes provides considerable insight into the biology of leukemias and opens the way to more specific pharmacological treatments. These genes comprise several ion channels and pumps, as the transport mechanisms associated with volume control, proliferation and apoptosis are often altered in cancers. In leukemic cells, such changes are observed as early as the stem cell stage. Ion channels can regulate other malignant features, such as lack of differentiation, increased migratory and invasive phenotype and chemoresistance. The role of certain voltagegated K+ channels, such as Kv11.1 (also known as hERG1) can be largely attributed to modulation of cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Kv11.1 exerts pleiotropic regulatory effects by forming multiprotein membrane complexes with integrin receptors in both acute myeloid leukemias (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL). By recruiting growth factor and chemokine receptors, these complexes form signaling hubs that control neoplastic progression. Work in mice shows that blocking Kv11.1 has a protective effect in acute leukemias. Ion channels are most promising targets for anti-leukemic therapy, because of their accessibility from the extracellular side and the thorough understanding of their pharmacology. In ALL cells, Kv11.1 inhibitors abrogate the protective effect of bone marrow stromal cells and enhance the cytotoxicity of some common antileukemic drugs. Hence, ion channel modulators could overcome chemoresistance in acute leukemias, a major hindrance to therapeutic success. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.

Bergamaschini R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Tersoff J.,IBM | Tu Y.,IBM | Zhang J.J.,Johannes Kepler University | And 3 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We show that on suitably pit-patterned Si(001), deposition of just a few atomic layers of Ge can trigger a far larger flow of Si into the pits. This surprising effect results in anomalous smoothing of the substrate preceding island formation in the pits. We show that the effect naturally arises in continuum simulations of growth, and we identify its physical origin in the composition dependence of the surface diffusivity. Our interpretation suggests that anomalous smoothing is likely to also occur in other technologically relevant heteroepitaxial systems. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Rongioletti F.,University of Genoa | Tomasini C.,Universitaria San Giovanni Battista | Crovato F.,University of Genoa | Marchesi L.,University of Milan Bicocca
British Journal of Dermatology | Year: 2012

Background Aquagenic keratoderma is an uncommon condition that occurs after brief water exposure. An association with cystic fibrosis has been suggested. Histopathology is considered to be nonspecific. Objectives To describe the microscopic findings in seven of 12 new patients and compare the histopathological results of the lesions which appeared on the palmar skin after immersion into water with normal skin. Patients and methods Nine female and three male patients (mean age 27 years) were collected prospectively and evaluated for common demographic, clinical and histopathological features. Results Lesions were located on only the palms in seven patients; the soles were involved in two patients; and one patient had involvement of the dorsal aspect of the hands. One patient had a similar family history. None of the patients reported associated conditions. Genetic studies revealed heterozygosis for mutation in the cystic fibrosis gene in two patients. The most specific histopathological findings were: orthohyperkeratosis with increased thickness and abnormal staining of the stratum corneum; dilated acrosyringia and dermal eccrine ducts with hyperplasia of eccrine glands, clear cell change and vacuolation; increased capillaries around and adjacent to the eccrine glands. A skin biopsy taken after restoration of normal skin with drying revealed a normal stratum corneum with a physiological uniform stain and normal thickness without further evidence of dilation of acrosyringia or dermal eccrine ducts. Incipient dilation of the secretory and ductal structures was also observed in a transitional area between the involved and the clinically normal skin of the palms. Conclusions Aquagenic keratoderma may be associated with a heterozygous mutation in the cystic fibrosis gene. Although the diagnosis is a clinical one, histopathology is useful and may reveal some characteristic diagnostic clues. Aquagenic pseudokeratoderma seems to be a more appropriate term to name it. © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists.

Cacciapuoti C.,University of Insubria | Finco D.,University Telematica Internazionale Uninettuno | Noja D.,University of Milan Bicocca
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2015

In this paper we give the complete classification of solitons for a cubic nonlinear Schrödinger equation on the simplest network with a nontrivial topology: the tadpole graph, i.e., a ring with a half line attached to it and free boundary conditions at the junction. This is a step toward the modelization of condensate propagation and confinement in quasi-one-dimensional traps. The model, although simple, exhibits a surprisingly rich behavior and in particular we show that it admits: (i) a denumerable family of continuous branches of embedded solitons vanishing on the half line and bifurcating from linear eigenstates and threshold resonances of the system; (ii) a continuous branch of edge solitons bifurcating from the previous families at the threshold of the continuous spectrum with a pitchfork bifurcation; and (iii) a finite family of continuous branches of solitons without linear analog. All the solutions are explicitly constructed in terms of elliptic Jacobian functions. Moreover we show that families of nonlinear bound states of the above kind continue to exist in the presence of a uniform magnetic field orthogonal to the plane of the ring when a well definite flux quantization condition holds true. In this sense the magnetic field acts as a control parameter. Finally we highlight the role of resonances in the linearization as a signature of the occurrence of bifurcations of solitons from the continuous spectrum. © 2015 American Physical Society.

D'Arienzo M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Cristofori D.,University of Venice | Scotti R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Morazzoni F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2013

We report on the sensing behavior of SnO2 shape controlled nanocrystals in order to evaluate the role of their exposed crystal surfaces in the sensing mechanism. Octahedral (OCT), elongated dodecahedral (DOD), and nanobar shaped (NBA) nanocrystals were synthesized by previously reported procedures and their performances were evaluated in the sensing toward CO. Singly ionized oxygen vacancies (VO •) were detected by electron spin resonance (ESR), and their abundance and reactivity were associated to the exposed crystal faces and, in turn, to the sensing responses of the nanocrystals. Results indicated that the electrical properties and the formation/reactivity of the VO • centers are interconnected and are relatable to the nanoparticle specific surfaces. Two different temperature-dependent sensing mechanisms were proposed, depending on the prevalence of the surface structure or of the specific surface area on the sensing ability of shape controlled SnO2 nanoparticles. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.4 | Award Amount: 4.17M | Year: 2010

Europe relies on the availability and flawless functioning of distributed infrastructures, such as electricity, water, communication, transportation, and environmental management. This infrastructure is based on distributed networked IT systems for monitoring and control.\n\nTechnological innovation offers opportunities for more efficient infrastructure.\nInnovation in infrastructures and the resulting improvement in quality of life are hindered by the danger of upgrades:\n\tin a new version, some of the existing functionality can be lost;\n\tincompatibilities between the old and new version can result in major service outages;\nAs it is infeasible to update the entire infrastructure at once, periods of coexistence between old and new components are inevitable.\n\nAs a result, infrastructure upgrades are done only once the existing infrastructure performs below acceptable levels. Lowering the risk of infrastructure updates will benefit society, infrastructure operators, and the European systems vendors. All existing validation solutions do not take upgrades into account. A solution for validating upgrades is in dire need because of shorter product lifecycles and increasing complexity and scale of networked systems.\n\nPINCETTE will develop the technology to ensure safe infrastructure upgrades by validating continuously evolving networked software systems.\nPINCETTE will 1) reduce the cost and time to market of upgrades by several orders of magnitude; 2) increase the level of confidence in the safety of upgrades; 3) enable certification of upgrades.\n\n\nThe PINCETTE consortium is composed of the leading European research experts and prominent infrastructure providers. The PINCETTE technology will be validated at:\n\tABB produces and sells components and systems used in utility, industrial, and public transportation infrastructures. A major share of the European power grid is built on ABB equipment.\n\tVTT provides the monitoring and maintenance robot system for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.\n\tIAI operates autonomous aircrafts for environmental monitoring, deployed worldwide.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2015

Many therapeutic targets are shielded behind biological barriers, limiting the possibility to reach them with conventional drugs or diagnostic probes. Biological barriers are even more problematic for most biological pharmaceutics, such as recombinant proteins, antibodies and gene therapeutics. The most promising solution to this challenge is the use of nano-vehicles for specific targeting and delivery. The aim of NABBA is to form European early stage researchers (ESR) with cutting-edge scientific knowledge in the field of nanoparticles (NP) for biomedical application, able to cross biological barriers. For this aim the project will train ESRs, focusing on key aspects of nanobiotechnology: (i) design and chemical synthesis of different types of NPs, (ii) related techniques of detection and characterization, (iii) strategies of loading, targeting and delivery of drugs or diagnostic probes; (iv) proof of principle of pharmacological activity including pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. As a peculiar feature of NABBA, strong emphasis will be devoted to molecular mechanisms ruling biological barriers under physiological and pathological conditions, in order to develop novel nano-technological expedients for their crossing. Strong emphasis will be devoted to advanced chemistry issues, enabling new synthetic strategies either for NP assembly or functionalization. Different biological barriers will be addressed. ESRs will strongly benefit from a network of internationally recognized scientists in the field of chemistry, nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine, and the participation of companies with relevant interests and expertises in the field. The planned cooperation programs between Academia and Industries will allow the circulation of ESRs and this will give them the opportunity for to get acquainted with the most advanced research in the field, the most sophisticated technologies and the most advanced Industrial manufacturing platforms and innovative strategies.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: SSH.2012.4.1-2 | Award Amount: 3.05M | Year: 2012

The project SEATIDE brings together Southeast Asian (SEA) and European researchers with two objectives: research and network development. Research. Using locally focused field study methodologies, our experience of research on integration frameworks in Southeast Asia shows that historical and contemporary integrative processes include some groups and exclude others. Exclusion of communities presents risks to human development and security, even of framework disintegration. This understanding directs our research question: in processes of integration, who is excluded? We address it in thematic work packages with relevant qualitative/quantitative case studies guided by a common analytical framework focused on four key issues: diversity, prosperity, knowledge and security. Attention to SEAs sub-regions and globalisation/transnational issues defines our approach. Structuring the European Research Area (ERA). On the basis of existing structures the unique EFEO network of 10 field centres in SEA, plus ECAF, EUROSEAS, ASEF we work for the development of effective, integrated networks of EU-SEA research, embracing Western European and ASEAN-founder countries alongside Eastern/Southern Europe and post-communist SEA nations. Broad dissemination of results is essential to the projects success, through conferences, publications, press coverage and policy briefs. Our recent and innovative research serves to improve the dialogue initiated in the EFEOs FP7 project IDEAS between social scientists and policymakers.

Fabris L.,University of Padua | Fabris L.,Center for Liver Research veR | Strazzabosco M.,Center for Liver Research veR | Strazzabosco M.,Yale University | Strazzabosco M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Seminars in Liver Disease | Year: 2011

In most cholangiopathies, liver diseases of different etiologies in which the biliary epithelium is the primary target in the pathogenic sequence, the central mechanism involves inflammation. Inflammation, characterized by pleomorphic peribiliary infiltrate containing fibroblasts, macrophages, lymphocytes, as well as endothelial cells and pericytes, is associated to the emergence of reactive cholangiocytes. These biliary cells do not possess bile secretory functions, are in contiguity with terminal cholangioles, and are of a less-differentiated phenotype. They have acquired several mesenchymal properties, including motility and ability to secrete a vast number of proinflammatory chemo/cytokines and growth factors along with de novo expression of a rich receptor machinery. These functional properties enable reactive cholangiocytes to establish intimate contacts and to mutually exchange a variety of paracrine signals with the different mesenchymal cell types populating the portal infiltrate. The extensive crosstalk between the epithelial and mesenchymal compartments is the driver of liver repair mechanisms in cholangiopathies, ultimately evolving toward portal fibrosis. Herein, the authors first review the properties of the different cell types involved in their interaction, and then analyze the underlying molecular mechanisms as they relate to liver repair in cholangiopathies. © 2011 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Massironi M.,University of Padua | Bistacchi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Menegon L.,University of Tromsø
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2011

Low angle normal faults and other weak faults are common in the metamorphic core of collisional orogens. They frequently show a phyllosilicate-rich mylonitic foliation that was reactivated under brittle conditions. Experimental and theoretical works indicate that mechanical anisotropies exert a substantial influence on shear failure and frictional sliding, eventually inhibiting the nucleation and propagation of new Andersonian shear fractures and favoring the localization of brittle failure along the pre-existing foliations. Metamorphic phyllosilicate-rich rocks may show a friction coefficient varying from 0.6, at high angles to the foliation, to 0.2-0.4, for shear along the inherited foliation. To test the influence of mechanical anisotropies on the development of non-Andersonian faults, we have applied a modified slip tendency analysis to three misoriented phyllosilicate-rich faults of the European Alps. The analysis accounts for anisotropy in friction coefficients, and has been named "Anisotropic Slip Tendency analysis". Here we show that brittle deformation along misoriented phyllosilicate-rich foliations is more probable than the development of new Andersonian faults. The presence of a well developed network of weak, phyllosilicate-rich faults may influence the overall structural style and mechanical properties of the brittle lithosphere in collisional orogens. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Vanacore G.M.,California Institute of Technology | Hu J.,California Institute of Technology | Liang W.,California Institute of Technology | Bietti S.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 2 more authors.
Nano Letters | Year: 2014

Unlike in bulk materials, energy transport in low-dimensional and nanoscale systems may be governed by a coherent "ballistic" behavior of lattice vibrations, the phonons. If dominant, such behavior would determine the mechanism for transport and relaxation in various energy-conversion applications. In order to study this coherent limit, both the spatial and temporal resolutions must be sufficient for the length-time scales involved. Here, we report observation of the lattice dynamics in nanoscale quantum dots of gallium arsenide using ultrafast electron diffraction. By varying the dot size from h = 11 to 46 nm, the length scale effect was examined, together with the temporal change. When the dot size is smaller than the inelastic phonon mean-free path, the energy remains localized in high-energy acoustic modes that travel coherently within the dot. As the dot size increases, an energy dissipation toward low-energy phonons takes place, and the transport becomes diffusive. Because ultrafast diffraction provides the atomic-scale resolution and a sufficiently high time resolution, other nanostructured materials can be studied similarly to elucidate the nature of dynamical energy localization. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Monegato G.,University of Padua | Vezzoli G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Sedimentary Geology | Year: 2011

The Messinian-Quaternary history of tectonic and climatic control on sedimentation in the eastern Southern Alps, northern Italy, was reconstructed using an integrated petrographic and sedimentological analysis of five sedimentary successions. These units mainly consist of fluvial conglomerates of the Tagliamento sequence, deposited within the eastern Southern Alps since the Upper Miocene ("Messinian Salinity Crisis"). At that time, the closure of marine gateways between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea caused a drop in sea level, causing exchanged fluvial erosion and widening of the Alpine catchments. Sediment composition in the Upper Miocene to Lower Pliocene units shows an abrupt change in the source areas: from sediments characterized by carbonate rock fragments to detritus rich in low-grade metamorphic grains. In spite of tectonic activity within the eastern Southern Alps, no major modifications in sediment supply took place during the Pliocene-Early Pleistocene time span. In the Middle Pleistocene the first major expansion of the Alpine glaciers triggered a change in drainage patterns and a marked increase in erosion rates. Predominantly climatic control on sedimentation in the Tagliamento basin and the erosion of the Carnic Alps produced sediments rich in quartz, siltstone and metamorphic rock fragments, deposited in the Upper Pleistocene unit and in modern river sediments. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Meggendorfer M.,MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory | Bacher U.,MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory | Alpermann T.,MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory | Haferlach C.,MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2013

Chronic myeloid malignancies are categorized to the three main categories myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) and MDS/MPN overlap. So far, no specific genetic alteration profiles have been identified in the MDS/MPN overlap category. Recent studies identified mutations in SET-binding protein 1 (SETBP1) as novel marker in myeloid malignancies, especially in atypical chronic myeloid leukemia (aCML) and related diseases. We analyzed SETBP1 in 1 130 patients with MPN and MDS/MPN overlap and found mutation frequencies of 3.8% and 9.4%, respectively. In particular, there was a high frequency of SETBP1 mutation in aCML (19/60; 31.7%) and MDS/MPN unclassifiable (MDS/MPN, U; 20/240; 9.3%). SETBP1 mutated (SETBP1mut) patients showed significantly higher white blood cell counts and lower platelet counts and hemoglobin levels than SETBP1 wild-type patients. Cytomorphologic evaluation revealed a more dysplastic phenotype in SETBP1mut cases as compared with wild-type cases. We confirm a significant association of SETBP1mut with -7 and isochromosome i(17)(q10). Moreover, SETBP1mut were strongly associated with ASXL1 and CBL mutations (P<0.001 for both) and were mutually exclusive of JAK2 and TET2 mutations. In conclusion, SETBP1mut add an important new diagnostic marker for MDS/MPN and in particular for aCML. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Saliu F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Degano I.,University of Pisa | Colombini M.P.,CNR Institute for the Conservation and Promotion of Cultural Heritage
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2014

A method based on the use of a Poroshell 120 EC-C18 column (3.0. mm. ×. 50. mm, 2.7. μm) with a high resolution electrospray ionization-quadrupole-time of flight (ESI-Q-ToF) tandem mass spectrometer as detection system was optimized for the identification of triacylglycerols (TAGs) in complex archaeological residues.The best performances in chromatographic separation and Q-ToF detection sensitivity were reached by using a mixture of iPrOH/MeOH at a 0.6. mL/min flow rate. Triolein (OOO) was eluted in 12.30. min and the chromatographic resolution against tripalmitin (PPP) was 1.4. Very good limits of detection and quantification limits were also achieved (LOD. <. 0.03. μg/g LOQ. <. 0.10. μg/g).These achievements were compared with the results provided by traditional particle columns and with the results reported in the recent literature regarding TAGs analysis in archaeological residues. Thanks to the unprecedented chromatographic separation and detection sensitivity attained, it was possible for the first time to perform TAGs researches in archaeological residues and reference materials with a dataset containing more than 500 molecular formula. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Turati C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Di Giorgio E.,University of Padua | Bardi L.,University of Padua | Simion F.,University of Padua
Child Development | Year: 2010

Holistic face processing was investigated in newborns, 3-month-old infants, and adults through a modified version of the composite face paradigm and the recording of eye movements. After familiarization to the top portion of a face, participants (N = 70) were shown 2 aligned or misaligned faces, 1 of which comprised the familiar top part. In the aligned condition, no visual preference was found at any group age. In the misaligned condition, 3-month-olds preferred the face stimulus with the familiar top part, adults preferred the face stimulus with the novel one, and newborns did not manifest any visual preference. Results revealed that both infants' and adults' eye movements may be affected by holistic face information and demonstrated holistic face processing in 3-month-olds. © 2010 The Authors. Child Development © 2010 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

Thomopoulos C.,Helena Venizelou Hospital | Parati G.,San Luca Hospital | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zanchetti A.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS | Zanchetti A.,University of Milan
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2014

Background: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of blood pressure (BP) lowering lend themselves to be meta-analyzed to help providing evidence-based recommendations for hypertension treatment. Objectives: To investigate whether relative or absolute risk reductions increase at increasing levels of baseline cardiovascular risk and whether BP-lowering treatment should be addressed to patients in risk categories promising larger absolute treatment benefits. Methods: Sixty-eight RCTs of intentional and nonintentional BP lowering were classified in four strata of increasing average 10-year incidence of cardiovascular death in the placebo or less active treatment group: lowto- moderate risk (<5%; 23 RCTs, 81 675 individuals), high risk (5% to <10%; 11 RCTs, 46 162 individuals), very high risk (10% to <20%; 19 RCTs, 91 152 individuals), and very very high risk (≥20%; 16 RCTs, 26 881 individuals). Risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs; random-effects model) standardized to 10/5mmHg SBP/DBP reduction, absolute risk reduction, and residual risk of seven major fatal/nonfatal outcomes were calculated. Relative and absolute risk reductions in the cardiovascular risk strata were compared by the trend analysis, residual risk by calculating odds ratio (OR) relative to low-to-moderate risk. Results: Relative reductions of all outcomes did not differ in the risk strata, but absolute reductions significantly increased with increasing cardiovascular risk (P for trend <0.001 except for CHD): a 10/5mmHg SBP/DBP reduction reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events by 7 (95% CI 3-10), 30 (9-50), 56 (35-76), and 87 (62-112) events every 1000 patients treated 5 years, with increasing cardiovascular risk. However, also residual risk significantly (P < 0.001) increased with increasing cardiovascular risk [up to an OR 9.43 (8.60-10.35) for cardiovascular death]. The increase in residual risk with increasing level of cardiovascular risk persisted when RCTs with average initial age at least 65 years were excluded, and mean ages at the different cardiovascular risk levels were comparable. Conclusion: BP-lowering treatment induces greater absolute risk reductions the higher the cardiovascular risk level, but a higher risk level is also associated with higher absolute residual risk, independent of age. Whereas reserving antihypertensive treatment to high-risk hypertensive patients maximizes the cost-benefit ratio, only treatment of low-to-moderate risk hypertensive patients may prevent the increasing number of treatment failures when treatment is initiated at higher risk. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Thomopoulos C.,Helena Venizelou Hospital | Parati G.,San Luca Hospital | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zanchetti A.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS | Zanchetti A.,University of Milan
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2014

Background: Relevant clinical questions not approached by randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of blood pressure (BP)-lowering treatment can be explored by meta-analyses stratified by clinical criteria. Objectives: Investigating whether all grades of hypertension benefit from BP-lowering treatment and which are the target BP levels to maximize outcome reduction. Methods: Of the 68 RCTs of intentional and nonintentional BP-lowering, those without baseline antihypertensive drugs were stratified by the average baseline SBP and DBP (hypertension grades 1, 2, and 3). RCTs with or without baseline treatment were considered for investigating the effects of mean achieved SBP/DBP across three SBP cutoffs and two DBP cutoffs. Risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) (random-effects model), standardized to 10/5mmHg SBP/DBP reduction, and absolute risk reductions of seven fatal and nonfatal outcomes were calculated. Differences between relative and absolute risk reductions in the different strata of baseline or achieved SBP/DBP were evaluated by trend or heterogeneity analyses. Results: In 32 RCTs (104 359 individuals), significant outcome reductions were found independently of the hypertension grade, with no trend toward risk ratio changes with increasing baseline BP. A secondary analysis limited to RCTs on grade 1 hypertension at low-to-moderate risk showed significant outcome reductions [risk ratio: stroke 0.33 (0.11-0.98), coronary events 0.68 (0.48-0.95), and death 0.53 (0.35-0.80)]. In 32 RCTs (128 232 individuals), relative and absolute outcome reductions were significant for the SBP differences across 150 and 140mmHg cutoffs. Below 130 mmHg, only stroke and all-cause death were significantly reduced. Absolute outcome reduction showed a significant trend to decrease, the lower the SBP cutoff considered. In 29 RCTs (107 665 individuals), outcomes were significantly reduced across DBP cutoffs of 90 and 80 mmHg. After excluding RCTs with baseline DBP less than 90 mmHg, only stroke reduction was significant at achieved DBP less than 80 mmHg. Conclusion: Meta-analyses favor BP-lowering treatment even in grade 1 hypertension at low-to-moderate risk, and lowering SBP/DBP to less than 140/90 mmHg. Achieving less than 130/80mmHg appears safe, but only adds further reduction in stroke. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Thomopoulos C.,Helena Venizelou Hospital | Parati G.,San Luca Hospital | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zanchetti A.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS | Zanchetti A.,University of Milan
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2014

Background: Antihypertensive treatment is based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) started since 1966. Meta-analyses comprehensive of all RCTs but limited to RCTs investigating blood pressure (BP) lowering in hypertensive patients are lacking. Objectives: Two clinical questions were investigated: the extent of different outcome reductions by BP lowering in hypertensive patients, and the proportionality of outcome reductions to SBP, DBP, and pulse pressure (PP) reductions. Methods: PubMed between 1966 and December 2013 (any language), Cochrane Collaboration Library and previous overviews were used as data sources for identifying and selecting all RCTs comparing the antihypertensive drugs with placebo or less intense BP lowering (intentional BP-lowering RCTs); comparing BP-lowering drugs with placebo without BP-lowering intention, but with BP difference (nonintentional BPlowering RCTs); and enrolling at least 40% hypertensive patients. RCTs on acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, acute stroke, and dialysis were excluded. RCT quality was assessed by scoring. Risk ratios and 95% confidence interval (CI), standardized to 10/5mmHg SBP/DBP reduction, of seven fatal and nonfatal outcomes were calculated (random-effects model). The relationships of different outcome reductions to SBP, DBP, and PP reductions were investigated by meta-regressions. Results: A total of 68 RCTs (245 885 individuals) were eligible, of which 47 (153 825 individuals) were 'intentional' RCTs. All outcomes were reduced (P < 0.001) by BP lowering, stroke [-36% (-29, -42)], and heart failure [-43% (-28, -54)] to a greater extent, with smaller reductions for coronary events [coronary heart disease (CHD): -16% (-10, -21)], cardiovascular [-18% (-11, -24)], and all-cause mortality [-11% (-5, -16)]. Absolute risk reductions were 17 (14, 20) strokes, 28 (19, 35) cardiovascular events, and 8 (4, 12) deaths prevented every 1000 patients treated for 5 years. Logarithmic risk ratios were related to SBP, DBP, and PP reductions (P = 0.001-0.003) for stroke and composite cardiovascular events, but not for CHD. Conclusion: Meta-analyses of all BP-lowering RCTs involving hypertensive patients provide precise estimates of benefits (larger for stroke and heart failure, but also significant for CHD and mortality). Absolute risk reductions are substantial. Relationships of logarithmic risk ratios with BP reductions imply risk reduction increases progressively to a smaller extent the larger the BP reduction. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Giora E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gori S.,University of Padua
Vision Research | Year: 2010

According to the Oppel-Kundt illusion, a filled space appears larger than an empty one. In the present research we studied how textural characteristics affect the perceived size of two-dimensional patterns. We investigated the perceived extension of square textures by manipulating spatial frequency and filling microelements' numerosity. Subjects compared the test stimuli with a uniform gray square varied in size and performed the task both with the adjustment and the constant stimuli methods. An illusory increment of area extension was generally found with textured stimuli. The illusory effect increased with spatial frequency and decreased with the microelements' number, indicating an independent processing of these two basic properties. Moreover, the smaller effect found when spatial frequency extraction became harder, confirmed that the illusion involves spatial frequency processing. Finally, the reduced overestimation of areas observed with a weaker subparts' articulation confirmed the relevance of clear distinguishable micropatterns at the basis of the phenomenon. Those results demonstrate the influence of textural statistical properties on perceiving the size of a visual object. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Zoia L.,University of Milan Bicocca | King A.W.T.,University of Helsinki | Argyropoulos D.S.,North Carolina State University | Argyropoulos D.S.,University of Helsinki
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2011

A novel and reproducible method is described for accurately determining the molecular weight distribution by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) of whole lignocellulosic materials. This approach offers the opportunity to compare the molecular weight distributions of intact milled woods and its component fractions, lignins and holocelluloses, all from the same source, thus highlighting the potential of the technique and the contributions of the individual components to the chromatogram. The method is based on the dissolution of the ball-milled samples in the ionic liquid 1-allyl-3- methylimidazolium chloride ([amim]Cl). Under these homogeneous ionic liquid media, a derivatization reaction was performed with benzoyl chloride in the presence of pyridine. The thoroughly benzoylated wood with its associated carbohydrate and lignin components was found to be completely soluble in the THF SEC eluent with marked UV detector sensitivity. This methodology, when applied to the individually isolated holocellulose and lignin (enzymatic mild acidolysis lignin; EMAL) materials from Norway spruce (Eucalyptus grandis) wood and corn stover, offered a better understanding as to the possible ways the lignin and the carbohydrates may interact within these three different species. Finally, the applicability of the methodology is shown for a series of pure cellulosic samples under intense mechanical defibration conditions, offering a visualization of the molecular weight distribution changes induced during the production of nanofibrillated cellulose. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Spironelli C.,University of Padua | Manfredi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Angrilli A.,University of Padua | Angrilli A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Cortex | Year: 2013

Functional reorganization of language was investigated in a group of eleven non-fluent aphasic patients after linguistic recovery and in a group of matched healthy adults. The ElectroEncephaloGram (EEG) was recorded from 38 scalp electrodes and high-beta band (21-28Hz), an index of cognitive cortical arousal, was computed as normalized percentage across 0-100Hz spectral range in six electrode clusters during three linguistic tasks: Phonological, Semantic and Orthographic/visuo-perceptual. During the Phonological task, controls showed greater beta activation on left versusright central cluster, whereas aphasic patients exhibited an inverted pattern of lateralization. In addition, patients' left central cluster, located over the core lesion, showed reduced beta activity with respect to controls. A similar inhibited activation was found in aphasics' left posterior cluster located over undamaged areas. At left anterior locations, aphasics, unlike controls, exhibited larger left versusright beta activity during both Phonological and Orthographic/visuo-perceptual tasks. Results point to substantial reorganization of language in recovered non-fluent aphasics at left prefrontal sites located anterior to the damaged Broca's area and inhibited language-related activation in left posterior undamaged, but disconnected, regions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Makiniemi J.-P.,University of Helsinki | Pirttila-Backman A.-M.,University of Helsinki | Pieri M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Appetite | Year: 2011

The consumption of ethical food is an area of major growth. The aim of the current study was to identify ethical concerns regarding food. University students (N= 403) from Finland, Denmark and Italy completed a word association task, in which the given stimulus words were " ethical food" and " unethical food" The data was first analysed qualitatively. Next, the most relevant, core categories were identified based on the frequency, rank and contextual stability. The results indicated that fourteen categories reflect the content and nature of ethical thinking with respect to food. The identified categories were required/prohibited food, natural/unnatural, local/global, healthy/. unhealthy, equality/. inequality, good animal welfare/. poor animal welfare, rules and descriptions. In all countries, the core categories emerging from the stimulus word " ethical food" were the required food and the natural, while the core category identified from the stimulus word " unethical food" was the prohibited food. The most prevalent differences between the countries concerned the role of health, country of origin and the descriptions. In conclusion, various ethical aspects are considered when food is evaluated in ethical terms, but the relevance of these aspects differ, even in the European context. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Di Valentin C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Selloni A.,Princeton University
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2011

Using hybrid functional electronic structure calculations, we have investigated the structure and energetics of photogenerated electrons and holes in the bulk and at the (101) surface of anatase TiO 2. Excitons formed upon UV irradiation are found to become self-trapped, consistent with the observation of temperature-dependent Urbach tails in the absorption spectrum and a large Stokes shift in the photoluminescence band of anatase. Electron and hole polarons are localized at Ti 3+ and O - lattice sites, respectively. At the surface, the trapping sites generally correspond to undercoordinated Ti 3+ 5c and O - 2c surface atoms or to isolated OH species in the case of a hydroxylated surface. The polaron trapping energy is considerably larger at the surface than in the bulk, indicating that it is energetically favorable for the polarons to travel from the bulk to the surface. Computed one-electron energy levels in the gap and hyperfine coupling constants compare favorably with oxidation potential and EPR measurements. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Strazzabosco M.,Yale University | Strazzabosco M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fabris L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fabris L.,University of Padua
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2012

Several cholangiopathies result from a perturbation of developmental processes. Most of these cholangiopathies are characterised by the persistence of biliary structures with foetal configuration. Developmental processes are also relevant in acquired liver diseases, as liver repair mechanisms exploit a range of autocrine and paracrine signals transiently expressed in embryonic life. We briefly review the ontogenesis of the intra- and extrahepatic biliary tree, highlighting the morphogens, growth factors, and transcription factors that regulate biliary development, and the relationships between developing bile ducts and other branching biliary structures. Then, we discuss the ontogenetic mechanisms involved in liver repair, and how these mechanisms are recapitulated in ductular reaction, a common reparative response to many forms of biliary and hepatocellular damage. Finally, we discuss the pathogenic aspects of the most important primary cholangiopathies related to altered biliary development, i.e. polycystic and fibropolycystic liver diseases, Alagille syndrome. © 2012 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Talu S.,Technical University of Cluj Napoca | Giovanzana S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Human and Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2011

The objective of this paper is to present a synthesis concerning the results obtained in fractal and multifractal analysis of vascular network geometry of the human retina. The numerical results are useful in mathematical models based on parametric representations, used in vitreo-retinal biomechanical studies. The fractal and multifractal analysis of retinal vascular network provides noninvasive powerful tools that allow physicians the early detection of patients with different retinal vascular diseases.

Thomopoulos C.,Helena Venizelou Hospital | Parati G.,San Luca Hospital | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zanchetti A.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS | Zanchetti A.,University of Milan
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2015

Background and objectives: In 68 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), blood pressure (BP) lowering was obtained by using drugs of different classes. We have investigated whether BP lowering by any of the major drug classes is effective in reducing the cardiovascular outcomes. Methods: A total of 55 RCTs (195 267 individuals) were suitable for drug-class meta-analyses. Risk ratios and their 95% confidence intervals of seven fatal and nonfatal outcomes were estimated by a random-effects model. Results: Twelve RCTs (48 898 patients) compared a diuretic with no treatment. SBP/DBP differences of about -12/-5 mmHg were accompanied by significant reductions of all outcomes, including mortality. The same results were obtained by limiting analyses to eight RCTs using low-dose diuretics. Separate analyses for thiazides, chlorthalidone and indapamide (all low dose) showed each subclass was associated with significant reduction of some major outcome. Five RCTs (18 724 patients; SBP/DBP difference -10.5/-7 mmHg) showed beta-blockers significantly reduced stroke, heart failure and major cardiovascular events. In RCTs comparing calcium antagonists, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) with placebo smaller SBP/DBP differences were achieved, mostly because in the majority of these later RCTs the antihypertensive drug and placebo were added on a background treatment with other antihypertensive agents. Nonetheless, significant reductions of stroke, major cardiovascular events, cardiovascular and all-cause death were obtained with calcium antagonists (10 RCTs, 30 359 patients); stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure and major cardiovascular events by ACE inhibitors (12 RCTs, 35 707 patients); and stroke, heart failure and major cardiovascular events by ARBs (13 RCTs, 65 256 patients). Conclusion: BP lowering by all classes of antihypertensive drugs is accompanied by significant reductions of stroke and major cardiovascular events. This supports the concept that reduction of these events is because of BP lowering per se rather than specific drug properties. However, evidence of risk reduction of other events and particularly mortality was obtained so far with some drug classes only. As a result of marked differences in the trial design, total cardiovascular risk, SBP/DBP differences and statistical power, comparisons of meta-analyses of different drug-specific placebo-controlled RCTs appear unwarranted. © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Martino J.,Hospital Universitario Marques Of Valdecilla | Brogna C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Robles S.G.,Montpellier University Hospital Center | Vergani F.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 2 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2010

Despite electrostimulation studies of the white matter pathways, supporting the role of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF) in semantic processing, little is known about the precise anatomical course of this fascicle, especially regarding its exact cortical terminations. Here, in the lights of these new functional data, we dissected 14 post-mortem human hemispheres using the Klingler fiber dissection technique, to study the IFOF fibers and to identify their actual cortical terminations in the parietal, occipital and temporal lobes. We identified two different components of the IFOF: (i) a superficial and dorsal subcomponent, which connects the frontal lobe with the superior parietal lobe and the posterior portion of the superior and middle occipital gyri, (ii) a deep and ventral subcomponent, which connects the frontal lobe with the posterior portion of the inferior occipital gyrus and the posterior temporo-basal area. Thus, our results are in line with the hypothesis of the functional role of the IFOF in the semantic system, by showing that it is mainly connected with two areas involved in semantics: the occipital associative extrastriate cortex and the temporo-basal region. Further combined anatomical (dissection and Diffusion Tensor Imaging) and functional (intraoperative subcortical stimulation) studies are needed, to clarify the exact participation of each IFOF subcomponent in semantic processing. © 2009 Elsevier Srl.

Thomopoulosa C.,Helena Venizelou Hospital | Paratib G.,San Luca Hospital | Paratib G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zanchettic A.,University of Milan
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2015

Background and objectives: We have recently published an overview and meta-analysis of the effects of the five major classes of blood pressure-lowering drugs on cardiovascular outcomes when compared with placebo. However, possible differences in effectiveness of the various classes can correctly be estimated only by head-tohead comparisons of different classes of agents. This has been the objective of a new survey and meta-analysis. Methods: A database search between 1966 and August 2014 identified 50 eligible randomized controlled trials for 58 two-drug comparisons (247 006 patients for 1 029 768 patient-years). Risk ratios and their 95% confidence intervals of seven outcomes were estimated by a randomeffects model. Results: The effects of all drug classes are not significantly different on most outcomes when their blood pressure effect is equivalent. However, there are also significant differences involving almost all classes of drugs. When compared to all other classes together, diuretics are superior in preventing heart failure; beta-blockers less effective in preventing stroke; calcium antagonists superior in preventing stroke and all-cause death, but inferior in preventing heart failure; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors more effective in preventing coronary heart disease and less in preventing stroke; angiotensin receptor blockers inferior in preventing coronary heart disease; and renin-angiotensin system blockers more effective in preventing heart failure. When stratifying randomized controlled trials according to total cardiovascular risk, no drug class was found to change in effectiveness with the level of risk. Conclusions: The results of all available evidence from head-to-head drug class comparisons do not allow the formulation of a fixed paradigm of drug choice valuable for all hypertensive patients, but the differences found may suggest specific choices in specific conditions, or preferable combinations of drugs. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Somaschini C.,Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics | Bietti S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Trampert A.,Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics | Jahn U.,Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics | And 4 more authors.
Nano Letters | Year: 2013

We present a novel approach for the growth of GaAs nanowires (NWs) with controllable number density and diameter, which consists of the combination between droplet epitaxy (DE) and self-assisted NW growth. In our method, GaAs islands are initially formed on Si(111) by DE and, subsequently, GaAs NWs are selectively grown on their top facet, which acts as a nucleation site. By DE, we can successfully tailor the number density and diameter of the template of initial GaAs islands and the same degree of control is transferred to the final GaAs NWs. We show how, by a suitable choice of V/III flux ratio, a single NW can be accommodated on top of each GaAs base island. By transmission electron microscopy, as well as cathodo-and photoluminescence spectroscopy, we confirmed the high structural and optical quality of GaAs NWs grown by our method. We believe that this combined approach can be more generally applied to the fabrication of different homo-or heteroepitaxial NWs, nucleated on the top of predefined islands obtained by DE. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Meinardi F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Colombo A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Velizhanin K.A.,Los Alamos National Laboratory | Simonutti R.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 6 more authors.
Nature Photonics | Year: 2014

Luminescent solar concentrators are cost-effective complements to semiconductor photovoltaics that can boost the output of solar cells and allow for the integration of photovoltaic-active architectural elements into buildings (for example, photovoltaic windows). Colloidal quantum dots are attractive for use in luminescent solar concentrators, but their small Stokes shift results in reabsorption losses that hinder the realization of large-area devices. Here, we use Stokes-shift-engineeredCdSe/CdS quantum dots with giant shells (giant quantum dots) to realize luminescent solar concentrators without reabsorption losses for device dimensions up to tens of centimetres. Monte-Carlo simulations show a 100-fold increase in efficiency using giant quantum dots compared with core-only nanocrystals. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by using high-optical-quality quantum dot-polymethylmethacrylate nanocomposites fabricated using a modified industrial method that preserves the light-emitting properties of giant quantum dots upon incorporation into the polymer. Study of these luminescent solar concentrators yields optical efficiencies >10% and an effective concentration factor of 4.4. These results demonstrate the significant promise of Stokes-shift-engineered quantum dots for large-area luminescent solar concentrators. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parati G.,S Luca Hospital | Bilo G.,S Luca Hospital | Ochoa J.E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ochoa J.E.,S Luca Hospital
Diabetes Care | Year: 2011

In 2008, when the UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) group presented their 30-year findings concerning the possible sustained effects of improved glycemic control after 10 years of extended follow-up in type 2 diabetic patients, a so-called "legacy effect" was reported to address the long-term emergent and/or sustained benefits of early improved glycemic control. Opposite results were obtained by the Hypertension in Diabetes Study (HDS) carried out in the frame of UKPDS, with no evidence of any legacy effect on cardiovascular (CV) outcomes for an initial 4-year period of tight blood pressure (BP) control. Thus, it was concluded that BP control has to be continued over time, since, although it had a short time-to-effect relationship in preventing stroke, BP control was associated with a short persistence of its clinical benefits once the intervention was discontinued. These findings are unique because, whereas most interventional trials in hypertension that included diabetic patients have shown a reduction in CV outcomes shortly after starting treatment, only the UKPDS-HDS specifically explored the possible persistence of clinical benefits after discontinuing intensive BP-lowering intervention. This article aims to provide a critical interpretation of the UKPDS findings of lack of BP legacy, in the context of the currently available evidence on the benefits of antihypertensive treatment. The importance of effective BP control in type 2 diabetic patients to prevent CV outcomes and other diabetes-related complications is underlined, with emphasis on early, tight, and continuous BP control to optimize patients' protection. © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.

Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parati G.,S Luca Hospital | Ochoa J.E.,S Luca Hospital | Ochoa J.E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bilo G.,S Luca Hospital
Current Hypertension Reports | Year: 2012

The adverse cardiovascular consequences of high blood pressure (BP) not only depend on absolute BP values, but also on BP variability (BPV). Evidence has been provided that independently of mean BP levels, BP variations in the short- and long-term are associated with the development, progression and severity of cardiac, vascular and renal organ damage, and with an increased risk of CVevents and mortality. Alterations in BPV have also been shown to be predictive of the development and progression of renal damage, which is of relevance if considering that impaired renal function in a hypertensive patient constitutes a very potent predictor of future CV events and mortality even in treated subjects. This review will address whether antihypertensive treatment should target alterations in BPV, in addition to reducing absolute BP levels, in order to achieve the highest CV and renal protection in hypertensive and renal patients. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.

Grasso M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Roberts T.,Brown University
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2014

To overcome the current impasse in global climate negotiations we propose a compromise for sharing the remaining carbon budget, based on four elements. First, limiting initial action to the Major Economies Forum members would streamline negotiations greatly. Second, using consumption-based carbon accounting would overcome important fairness concerns of key developing countries. Similarly, applying equity principles of responsibility and capability to apportion the burden of emissions reductions within the group can address concerns of both the global north and south. And fourth, promptly bringing this compromise back to the United Nations negotiations for wider adoption will be critical. Based on an indicative carbon budget of 420 gigatonnes carbon dioxide over the period 2012-2050, our analysis shows that ambitious but feasible emissions reductions will be needed, with sharp differences by world economic groups. The compromise offers effectiveness, feasibility and fairness. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Crisenza T.,Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research | Butt H.-J.,Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research | Koynov K.,Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research | Simonutti R.,University of Milan Bicocca
Macromolecular Rapid Communications | Year: 2012

Blends of chlorinated polyethylene and nylon-6/-6,6/-12 terpolyamide were prepared. The ratio of the two components was systematically varied within the blends. The mechanical behavior of the samples was analyzed with tensile tests and dynamical mechanical analysis showing that, for several ratios, materials with improved mechanical properties typical of thermoplastic elastomers were obtained. In such a mechanical regime, a co-continuous phase-separated morphology was clearly evidenced at the microscopic scale by 3D laser scanning confocal fluorescent microscopy (LSCFM). At blend compositions where plastic tensile behavior is observed, LSCFM reveals dispersed spheres of one component in the other. Immiscible binary blends of chlorinated polyethylene and nylon-6/-6,6/-12 terpolyamide are found to yield thermoplastic elastomers with improved mechanical properties. A facile way to label the soft portion allows the detection of a co-continuous phase separation at the micrometer level through 3D confocal laser microscopy reconstructions. This unique morphology of the bulk is associated to the enhanced macroscopic behavior. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Perego M.,Olivetti | Bonafos C.,CNRS Toulouse Center for Materials Elaboration and Structural Studies | Fanciulli M.,Olivetti | Fanciulli M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nanotechnology | Year: 2010

P-doped Si nanocrystals (radius ≤2nm) were synthesized by depositing an ultrathin (0.3nm) P- SiO2 film close to each SiO layer of SiO/SiO2 multilayers. During annealing P atoms migrate into the Si-rich region. Due to the low diffusivity of P in SiO2, P atoms segregate in the Si nanocrystal region and are incorporated in the silicon nanostructures. The P level in the Si nanoclusters can be controlled by changing the P content in the P- SiO2 layer. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Brovelli S.,Los Alamos National Laboratory | Brovelli S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Galland C.,Los Alamos National Laboratory | Viswanatha R.,Los Alamos National Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Nano Letters | Year: 2012

The incorporation of copper dopants into II-VI colloidal nanocrystals (NCs) leads to the introduction of intragap electronic states and the development of a new emission feature due to an optical transition which couples the NC conduction band to the Cu-ion state. The mechanism underlying Cu-related emission and specifically the factors that control the branching between the intrinsic and impurity-related emission channels remain unclear. Here, we address this problem by conducting spectro-electrochemical measurements on Cu-doped core/shell ZnSe/CdSe NCs. These measurements indicate that the distribution of photoluminescence (PL) intensity between the intrinsic and the impurity bands as well as the overall PL efficiency can be controlled by varying the occupancy of surface defect sites. Specifically, by activating hole traps under negative electrochemical potential (the Fermi level is raised), we can enhance the Cu band at the expense of band-edge emission, which is consistent with the predominant Cu 2+ character of the dopant ions. Furthermore, we observe an overall PL "brightening" under negative potential and "dimming" under positive potential, which we attribute to changes in the occupancy of the electron trap sites (that is, the degree of their electronic passivation) that control nonradiative losses due to electron surface trapping. © 2012 American Chemical Society.